In Saint Joseph County, burning household trash, demolition and construction materials or any other items excluding clean, non-chemically treated wood and natural vegetation is prohibited. Serious health effects can develop from the harmful chemicals that are released when burning household trash, construction materials, or other items such as furniture and hazardous wastes.
The Health Department issues burn permits for the burning of clean, non-chemically treated wood and natural vegetation (excluding leaves). Approval from the local township Fire Department must first be received. After the Fire Department approves the burn, an application can be submitted to the Health Department. An Environmentalist will review the application, include any burn stipulations, and issue a permit if the burn does not create a public or environmental health hazard.
Some recreational fires do not require a permit. To determine if your fire will require a permit, please contact your local township Fire Department.
The county commissioners allow the burning of leaves for one week in the spring and one week in the fall. For approved burning times, please contact the county commissioners.
If you live within city limits, please contact your municipality to determine burn restrictions and requirements.
For information on prescribed burns, please contact IDEM at (574) 245-4877.