Prescribed Burning Requires the 1-2-3s

Before you burn your property, make sure to follow the 1-2-3s.

Man lighting field on fire
Conducting a safe burn means following the 1-2-3s.

1) Obtain a burn permit

In Southwest Wisconsin, if a burn unit is inside the yellow or red areas depicted on the Wisconsin DNR’s burning restrictions map and less than 10 acres in size, you may obtain the annual burning permit online or by calling 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876).

If the burn unit is inside the yellow or red areas depicted on the map and more than 10 acres in size, you must obtain a permit through your local DNR forestry department.

For burn units outside the yellow or red areas depicted on the map, contact your local municipality for guidance on permitting.

2) Secure final approval on the day of the burn

Hazardous burning conditions can develop quickly in spring. You must check on the internet or over the phone after 11:00 a.m. for the daily fire restrictions in the county where you wish to burn. Visit: Or call: 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) (enter the County Code)

3) Every safe burn includes preparation, execution, and completion

Executing the burn is the exciting part, but the other two components, preparation and completion, are equally critical.

Proper preparation happens on paper and on-the-ground and usually involves professional guidance, assistance and/or equipment.

Completion is achieved when there are no remaining “smokes.”  Burn units with smoking woody debris require vigilance until the fire is completely out.