Burning Permits

The Town of Cottage Grove allows burning by permit only.

Register Here to provide notice of a planned burn if you have already obtained your annual permit.

Open Burning is regulated by Wisconsin Administrative Code sections NR 502.11 and NR 429.04.   These sections primarily deal with WHO is allowed to burn and WHAT they are allowed to burn. Some areas of Wisconsin are further regulated as to WHEN burning is allowed through a requirement for a Wisconsin DNR burning permit. While the Town of Cottage Grove is not in one of these areas, Town of Cottage Grove Ordinance section 11.02 Outdoor and Open Burning does require a burning permit from the Town for any open burning.

Please select from the following options to apply for your annual burning permit:

Online Application
(Your permit will be emailed to you.)

Printable application form (2018)
Complete and return to the Town Hall:

Address: 4058 County Road N
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
Fax: (608) 839-4432
email: clerk@towncg.net


Open Burning means burning outside of an enclosure. This permit allows for burning of tree and plant waste materials generated on the property. Once you have your annual permit, all Open burning must be registered with the Cottage Grove Fire Department 48 hours in advance, either by calling 608-839-5021 ext. 12, or online at http://openburn.towncg.net. Once the 48 hours have passed, you are allowed a 3-day window in which to burn. All open burning must be reduced to a campfire by sunset.

A campfire is a small fire in a fire pit or surrounded by a fire ring intended for recreation or cooking. All campfires shall be extinguished by 10:00 P.M. on Sunday thru Thursday and 11:00 P.M. on Friday or Saturday, or shall be extinguished immediately upon the request of a neighbor due to smoke causing a nuisance on the neighboring property.


  1. Burning of any wet combustible rubbish, garbage, oily substances, asphalt, rubber products, or other materials prohibited by Wis. Admin. Code §§NR 429.04 or 502.11.
  2. Burning of explosive or dangerous material without a permit issued either by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources [WDNR], or the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations [DILHR].
  3. Burning in an air curtain destructor without first obtaining a permit from the WDNR and having received written approval from the Town Board.
  4. Open burning of any material whatsoever by businesses, excluding agricultural or silvicultural facilities, except where a wood burning site license under Wis. Admin. Code §§NR 502.11(f) has been approved by the WDNR.
  5. Open burning of any material whatsoever by agricultural or silvicultural facilities, except for stumps, trees, limbs, brush and weeds, as described in Wis. Admin. Code §§NR 502.11(2)(a).


  1. A responsible adult shall be in attendance at any fire until it is totally extinguished.
  2. All burning shall be conducted in a safe manner, when wind and weather conditions are such that they do not create any fire hazards to adjacent properties and the burning can be safely controlled.
  3. No burning shall be conducted within 20 feet from any structure, hay stack, or fuel storage location; or upon any surface within a right-of-way, public or private.
  4. Adequate firebreaks shall be provided, and arrangements shall be made to notify the fire department in case of any emergency, [ie: having a phone available to DIAL 911].
  5. The burning shall not be in violation of any federal air control rules, or any state air pollution control rules that are required by applicable federal laws or regulations.

A wealth of information from the Wisconsin DNR regarding open burning is available at: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/OpenBurning/

The following DNR publications are especially relevant:

Along with the following from UW Extension:

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