City of Watertown Outdoor Burn Permits- Recreational
Rules and Regulations
A burn permit is required for any outdoor burning within the City of Watertown, WI.
This applies to both open fire pits and all manufactured fire pit devices.
Burn permits are free of charge and are available Monday through Friday
between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM at the Watertown Fire Department
located at 106 Jones Street or APPLY ONLINE HERE
Below are rules governing open burning in the city of Watertown. These rules are
listed on the burn permit.
Pursuant to that section and Section 16.11(5), the permit holder shall have the
following responsibilities: (a) To adhere to all health and fire prevention codes,
and (b) To have adult supervisory personnel present at the site of the open
burning, and (c) To comply with the following regulations of the Watertown Fire
The Fire shall be limited by the following conditions:
1. Any fire deemed to be a public health nuisance by the fire chief or his or her
designee shall be extinguished.
2. The fire shall be for recreational or ceremonial purposes only.
3. This permit shall apply to all manufactured burning rings, fireplaces, fire pits,
chimneys or like devices.
4. No manufactured device shall be placed on any combustible surface.
5. The fire must be completely extinguished before the fire location may be left
6. The fire shall be no larger than three (3) feet in diameter. SEE EXCEPTION
7. No flammable liquids shall be used to start or support the burning.
8. Only virgin wood and charcoal fuel will be allowed to be burned.
9. Under no circumstances will plastics, trash, garbage, oils, hydrocarbon fuels,
furniture, fabrics, leaves, yard waste, synthetic materials of any kind,
pressure-treated wood or wood that has been finished with paints, varnishes,
laminates or a similar finish be burned.
10. The fire shall not be located less than ten (10) feet from property lines nor less
than twenty (20) feet from any building or structure. (This does not apply to
11. A functional extinguishing aid must be present, such as a fire extinguisher,
garden hose, etc.
EXCEPTION: A bonfire is allowed under this permit ONLY for Churches,
Organized Schools, and Civic Organizations and only if application for site
review has been made and approved by the Watertown Fire Department. Such
bonfire shall be NO MORE than 10′ in diameter or 10′x10′ square and NO MORE
than 6′ High and MUST comply with all other provisions of this permit.
Section 16.11(6) of the Watertown Municipal Ordinances allows that the Fire
Chief, in times of extreme dryness or drought, deficiency in the water supply or
by reason of any other emergency, is authorized to prohibit the setting of any fires
upon any lands within the City of Watertown.
The Fire Chief may revoke this permit for violating any provision of this