Burning Permits

Burning Permits are required in the Town of Norway for certain types of fires and under certain conditions. If a burning permit is required, contact the Town Clerk’s Office. If no one is available at that office to act upon your request, contact Wind Lake Fire Department. If you are seeking to schedule an agriculture burn, you must contact the Town Police Department via Racine County Dispatch at (262) 886-2300. An issued permit is only valid for the day specified, and may be revoked at any time for good cause. 
The Municipal Code regarding outdoor burning (Section 6.11) is provided below for your reference.


(Update No. 2019-03; October 2019)


(1) Definitions
“Open Burning” means any fire from which the products of combustion are emitted directly into the open air without passing through a chimney or stack. Open burning includes fires contained within metal burn barrels, but does not include the combustion occurring at a properly operated air curtain destructor. 

(2) Prohibitions; exceptions
     A. All open burning is prohibited in the Town of Norway except: 
            1. Outdoor fires for cooking, ceremonies or recreation. Such fires shall not burn rubbish,                         garbage, trash, plastic, rubber, leather, asphalt, oily substances, petroleum-based                               materials, wood pallets, or any material that will create dense smoke or cause a nuisance,                 and shall not exceed a pit diameter of 5 feet. Larger recreational fire such as bonfire must                   obtain a permit first by contacting the Town Clerk’s Office. If personnel are not available to                   consider the request, the individual must then contact the Wind Lake Volunteer Fire                             Company. 
            2. Backfires to control forest fires or fires set for forest or wildfire habitat management with                     approval of the Department of Natural Resources and Town where no reasonable                               alternative is available. 
            3. Burning of trees, wood, brush or demolition materials, excluding asphaltic or rubber                             material or wood pallets, using methods approved by the Department of Natural Resources                 (such as-air curtain destructors). 
            4. Burning of trees, limbs, stumps, brush or weeds for clearing or maintenance of rights-of-                      way outside of the Southeastern Wisconsin Intrastate AQCR. 
            5. Fires burning clean, dry, combustible materials used to thaw the ground for street, sewer or                 underground repairs. 
            6. Small open flames for welding, acetylene torches, safety flare, heating tar or similar                             applications. 
            7. Fires set for practice and instruction of fire fighters, or testing of fighting equipment. 
            8. Burning of brush or weeds on land located within the Town that is zoned farming or                             agricultural, including fires for cropland management, insect and rodent control, provided                     dense smoke is not created and no nuisance occurs. 
            9. Burning of small amounts of dry leaves and dry plant clippings. 
            10. Burning of explosive or dangerous material for which there is no other safe means of                            disposal. 
            11. Burning at rural or isolated solid waste disposal sites outside of the Southeastern                                 Wisconsin Intrastate AQCR which have been granted a written exemption under s. NR                       506.04, or burning of special waste where permits are obtained from the Department of                       Natural Resources and Town. 
            12. Burning of gaseous or liquid waste in a manner approved by the Department of Natural                      Resources and the Town. 
     B. Unless subsections (2) A5 or (2) A6 are applicable, open burning on land within the Town that            is zoned business or commercial is prohibited. 
     C. Regardless of the applicability of any of the exceptions set forth in subsection (2)A, open                    burning is prohibited in ditches draining into lakes or on frozen lakes. Open burning is also                  prohibited within 25 feet of any lakeshore, 25 feet from any structure, and 5 feet from any lot              lines. 
     D. Fuel for fires shall consist of dry material only and shall not be ignited with flammable or                     combustible liquids. 
     E. No person under the age of 16 years is allowed to ignite any fire without the supervision of an             adult 21 years of age or older. 

(3) Permits and Time Restrictions 
     A. Exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 contained in subsection (2) A have no time limit and do not                    require the approval of the Town. 
     B. Exceptions 7 and 8 contained in subsection (2) a have no time limit but require prior approval             of the Town. 
     C. Exception 9 contained in subsection (2) A is permitted only between the hours of 12:00 noon              and 7:00 p.m. prevailing time. 
     D. Exceptions 10, 11 and 12 contained in subsection (2) A require a written permit from the Town,            the time for burning to be specified in said permit. 
     E. Except as noted below, an individual desiring to obtain a permit for open burning must first                 contact the Town Clerk’s Office. If personnel are not available to consider the request, the                  individual may then contact the Town Fire Department. Any individual seeking to schedule an              agriculture burn should first contact the Town Police Department via the County Dispatcher. 
         All requests for a written permit must be made to the Town Clerk who shall forward the request          to the proper personnel. Any permit may impose conditions for the protection of life and                       property. A permit is only valid for the day specified, and may be revoked at any time upon                   good cause shown. 
     F. On such days when atmospheric conditions are unacceptable for burning, the Department of              Natural Resources will issue an air pollution advisory. When such advisory has been issued,              permission to burn under exceptions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 shall not be granted. In addition, the          Fire Chief shall have the authority to order that permission for any open burning not be granted          when wind or weather conditions so dictate or other safety-related reasons exist for so                       ordering. 
         Wind conditions are subject to sudden change. When winds or wind gusts exceed 15 mph, as             reported by the National Weather Service, no person shall ignite a fire regardless of whether               permission was previously granted. All persons are responsible for checking wind conditions               with the National Weather Service before igniting a fire and shall extinguish any fire already               ignited when such wind conditions arise. (ORD 2011-005 08/08/2011; ORD 99-5 4/28/99)
     G. Any fire department or law enforcement officer may order any fire extinguished which is in                  violation of the outdoor burning ordinance, or when, in the opinion of the fire department or                  law enforcement officer, extinguishment is required for safety-related reasons. 

(4) Liability 
     A. Any person who kindles or starts a fire, whether or not a permit is required and issued pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance shall assume full responsibility for controlling, monitoring, and extinguishing the fire, and for any resulting damage or destruction to any property. 
     B. The Town of Norway or the Wind Lake Volunteer Fire Department shall not be responsible or liable by reason of issuance or revocation of any permit required by this ordinance nor for any costs, charges or damages resulting from any fire. 

(5) Outdoor Wood-Fired Furnaces. 
     A. For the purpose of this section, “Outdoor Wood-Fired Furnace” means a wood-fired furnace,               stove or boiler that is not located within a building intended for habitation by human or                         domestic animals. 
     B. Findings. The use of Outdoor Wood-Fired Furnaces in residential and commercial areas                    results in the likelihood of nuisance complaints within the Town. Complaints stem from large,              unsightly wood piles, excessive smoke and concerns about health risks associated with the                high volume of smoke produced by these units. 
     C. An Outdoor Wood-Fired Furnace may be installed and used in the Town only in accordance               with the following provisions: 
            1. The furnace shall be allowed only in agricultural zoning districts as designated within                           Chapter 20 of the Racine County Code of Ordinances. 
            2. Only clean, dry firewood shall be burned in the furnace. All firewood shall be stored in neat,                  stacked rows and not piled in any other way. 
            3. The furnace shall be located at least 500 feet from the nearest building which is not on the                  same property as the furnace. 
            4. The furnace shall have a chimney that extends at least 15 feet above the ground surface. 
     D. Nuisance. The improper use of an Outdoor Wood-Fired Furnace is hereby declared a public               nuisance and the Town may proceed under Section 6.09 of this Code of Ordinances to abate             the nuisance or may proceed under any other applicable ordinance or statute accordingly.