Fall Burning Reminders

Before you set a match to the fallen leaves, stay out of trouble.

This reminder comes from the Muskego Police Department and the desk of Lt. Dave Constantineau:

This weekend marks the official end of summer, and soon the air will be filled with the intoxicating, or irritating, depending on your point of view, smell of burning leaves. So before the leaves start to fall, I thought I would give you this gentle reminder: while it is legal to burn yard waste, there are restrictions.

  • You may not burn garbage, refuse, or building materials, however, leaves, sticks, branches, logs and plant materials are allowed.
  • You may not burn within 20 feet of ANY water’s edge, drainage ditches or along water courses.
  • You must also be at least 30 feet from any building or structure, and the wind velocity must be below 15 mph, as recorded by the U.S. Weather Service in Milwaukee, with the wind direction blowing away from any structures. And you must have adequate firefighting equipment within reach of the fire.

Even if you are in compliance with all of the above, there may be circumstances which would prevent you from having a fire. While citizens have the right to burn yard waste, that right ends when it infringes on the rights of others to enjoy clean air. While many people love the smell of burning leaves in the fall, many find the odor annoying or even a health risk.

For that reason, if someone calls to complain that the smoke from your fire is bothersome, even if you have complied with all the restrictions, our officers will politely ask you to put the fire out because it is bothering someone. So before you start your fire, take a moment to determine if the smoke has the potential to be a bother or health risk to someone else. If you think it could be, or if you think someone will complain, you may want to rethink your decision, and save yourself a visit from our officers. Enjoy the fall!


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