Air Quality Open Burning

  pdf Open Burning Permit (13 KB)

According to Pennington County Ordinance No. 12 and Rapid City Municipal Code Chapter 8.34, no person shall, at any time engage in open burning activities within the Air Quality Control Zone, except as allowed under the following conditions:

  • Open burning of agricultural irrigation ditches;
  • Open burning for noxious weed control;
  • Open burning for wildfire control management;
  • Open burning for ecosystem management;
  • Open burning for fire department personnel training;
  • Open burning of a fire hazard;
  • Open burning for the heating or cooking of food for human consumption in residential areas, city parks and campground areas;
  • Open burning for recreational purposes when the fires are confined to a fireplace, barbecue pit, recreational fire pit, fire ring, chiminea, outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or rock ring; and
  • Open burning for ceremonial purposes

Inappropriate fuels must be removed prior to ignition. Inappropriate fuel includes, but is not limited to: leaves, grass clippings, green plants, refuse, paper, rubbish, books magazines, fiberboard, packaging, rags, fabrics, building materials, animal waste, liquid or gelatinous hydrocarbons, tar, paints and solvents, chemically soaked or treated wood, plastic or rubber, and materials prohibited by ARSD 74:36:06:07.  Approved fuel includes untreated dry wood or products manufactured for the sole purpose as a fuel. 

Zones of Jurisdiction for Gaining Permission to Open Burn

There are three possible zones of jurisdiction from which an open burning permit must be obtained. Read the following descriptions to determine which office to contact.

Rapid City: This includes all areas within the Rapid City city limits ( pdf view map (266 KB) ). Permission will be granted by the Rapid City Fire Department. The Fire Department office is located at 10 Main Street, Rapid City, South Dakota or they can be reached by telephone at (605) 394-4180.  An application for an  pdf open burning permit (13 KB) and information regarding open burning, bonfires and burning not requiring a permit  can be obtained through the Rapid City Fire Department.

The Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District: This includes all areas outside of the Rapid City city limits that are west of Interstate 90 to the north, and west of South Highway 79 to the south ( pdf view map (266 KB) ), including those areas served by the Black Hawk, Doty, Johnson Siding, and Whispering Pines Volunteer Fire Departments. Permission will be granted by the Wildland Fire Coordinator of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Wildland Fire Suppression Division, or his designee. To obtain an open burning permit for these areas, contact the Wildland Fire Suppression Dispatch number at (605) 399-3160 or 1-800-275-4955, Monday - Friday 8am to 4:30pm. You will be issued a username and password over the phone for you to use the next time you call in. However, with Internet access, you can get a permit anytime that permits are being issued, even during holidays, weekends, and after hours, at

All other portions of the Control Zone: This includes those areas served by the North Haines Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), the Box Elder VFD, the Rapid Valley VFD, except that portion west of South Highway 79, and those residents of the Black Hawk VFD who reside in that portion east of Interstate 90 ( pdf view map (266 KB) ). The respective Volunteer Fire Department and the 911 Dispatch Center must be notified of the date and time of the open burn. There is no permit required for open burning for heating or cooking food, recreational fires or ceremonial fires.

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