Government Relations

Here in Wisconsin

Chair: Gary Werner

The government relations committee is developing language for legislation that would establish the “Right to Burn.” This legislation will:

  1. establish an exemption from liability for civil action regarding damage or injury from smoke;
  2. establish a “Certified Burn” program; and
  3. establish the right to conduct prescribed burns.

The Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council opposes the proposed elimination of Forestry Mill Tax revenue and replacement with General Purpose Revenue (GPR). View the letter sent to the Wisconsin Legislature.

Our Government Relations Committee advocates for Right to Burn Legislation in Wisconsin modeled after other states.

Prescribed Fire Legislation

What are other states doing?

Alabama – Alabama Prescribed Burn Act

  • Establishes the right to conduct prescribed burns
  • Establishes a “certified burner” program
  • Protects burners from liability relating to smoke

Michigan (recently passed but still in rule making phase)

  • Establishes that prescribed burning does not constitute a public nuisance
  • Defines a “certified prescribed burn manager” and establishes a certification program
  • Establishes exemption from liability regarding damage or injury resulting from smoke
  • Other requirements include a burn plan, adequate fire breaks, and sufficient equipment and personnel

Oklahoma – Guidelines for Safe and Lawful Prescribed Burning in Oklahoma

  • Law specifically allows for burning for management purposes and establishes procedure to do so
  • Establishes who must be contacted (neighbors, authorities)
  • Burners must complete a burn plan

South Carolina – South Carolina Prescribed Burning Act

  • Establishes “certified prescribed fire manager” certification requirements
  • Establishes that prescribed fires conducted in accordance with the standards are considered in the public interest and cannot be considered a nuisance
  • Recognizes prescribed burning as a beneficial management tool
  • Requires prescribed fire plan for authorization to burn

Other Resources

Economics and Prescribed Fire Law in the U.S. (abstract)