Prescribed Burn Permit Application

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AFD Wildfire Division
Austin Fire Department
12010 Brodie Ln
Austin, Texas 78748
(512) 974-0270


I. Purpose

The Austin Fire Department (AFD) supports the use of prescribed burns for forest, range and wildland/wildlife management, wildfire hazard mitigation, ecological restoration, and training purposes where and when appropriate.  It can be an effective tool for risk reduction and restoring ecosystem function when conducted by qualified and trained fire management personnel. Where possible, prescribed burns are used as a cost effective alternative to mechanical and/or hand-clearing of vegetation, methods that are labor intensive and time consuming in meeting management and public safety goals.
Prescribed burns have been identified in the Austin/Travis County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and the cohesive strategy as a desirable component of wildfire adaptation for our community This document serves as an outline for the prescribed fire permitting process.  It is a reference for the permit applicant to navigate the process and provide resources prior to application submission. 

II. Scope

This permit process is for the narrow use of fire by trained and experienced practitioners, in accordance with a prescription for vegetative fuels, under specified environmental conditions, while following appropriate precautionary measures to ensure public safety and meet land management objectives for land within the city limits of Austin and on City owned lands outside of the city limits. 

III. Background

Outdoor burning is regulated by state law, administrative code and municipal ordinance.  The City of Austin has adopted the International Fire Code with local amendments to regulate outdoor burning, including agricultural burning. The Austin Fire Department (AFD) is the delegated agency responsible for regulating outdoor burning in the City of Austin and for City owned properties outside the city limits. The Fire Marshal is the representative of the Fire Chief with the authority to issue or deny permits.
   Other relevant codes:
  • Austin City Charter Article I, 3

            o  International Fire Code, as amended (See §§ 105.6, 105.6.32, 307.2, 307.4, 307.7.1-5)


IV. Guidelines

  1. All prescribed fire applicants must submit the online Prescribed Fire Permit Application including all required Burn Plans and documentation.

  2. All prescribed fire applicants must understand and comply with all requirements in the Austin Fire Department Wildfire Division Prescribed Fire Handbook.

  3. Plans must be submitted no later than 45 days prior to ignition and no more than 1 year in advance of the planned burn(s).

  4. Submitted Burn Plans will be reviewed by AFD.

    1. All Prescribed Fires permit applications must be reviewed and approved by the AFD Fire Marshal and/or designee; an AFD Wildfire Division Burn Boss who meets or exceeds the complexity requirements listed in the Burn Plan.

    2. In the event an AFD Burn Boss is not available or the Burn Plan exceeds the Burn Boss’ qualification level, AFD will work with outside agencies to find a qualified technical reviewer who will review and make an approval recommendation to the AFD Fire Marshal.

    3. Submitted Burn plans will be approved or returned to the applicant for changes within 45 days.

    4. Approved Burn Plans that have completed a technical review process by an AFD Burn Boss or outside technical reviewer will be submitted to the AFD Fire Marshall for signature and issuing of a permit.
  5. Approved Prescribed Burn Permits are valid for one year from the date of issuance.

  6. Amendments to a submitted Burn Plan may be submitted through the same submission process, referencing the original submission number. Approval for amendments to a Burn Plan may take up to an additional 30 day to process.

  7. All property owned or managed by the applicant which is included in the Burn Plan will be made available to AFD representatives to evaluate control lines and to develop a conversion plan no later than 48 hours (weekdays) and no sooner than two weeks before the burn.

All prescribed fire applicants must attach a prescribed fire plan and a portfolio of experience showing qualification to manage a project with the complexity rating of the submitted prescribed fire plan at least 45 days prior to ignition and no more than 1 year in advance of the planned burn(s). This plan must be approved by the AFD Wildfire Division prior to any burn activity.  A template for prescribed fire plans can be found at:  Interagency Prescribed Fire Planning and Implementation Guide, PMS 484 

All activity on site must be in compliance with the currently adopted version of the International Fire Code as well as the Texas Local Government Code, Austin City Charter, Texas Clean Air Act, Texas Administration Code, Texas Natural Code and all other applicable codes, laws, and ordinances in effect at the site.

Applicants must understand and comply with all requirements in the Austin Fire Department Wildfire Division Prescribed Fire Handbook.

Prescribed fire plans will include a fire complexity analysis to identify values, risks, mitigation measures, and the technical difficulty of implementation actions to be addressed in the prescribed fire plan.  This complexity analysis process may be used to determine the organizational capabilities needed to safely achieve the objectives specified in the prescribed fire plan. A template for complexity analysis is found in NWCG PMS 424-1.


By checking these boxes, I certify that I have read and understand the responsibility and requirements.

Download and Read:
Austin Fire Department Wildfire Division Prescribed Fire Handbook 
AFD Prescribed Fire Permitting Guidelines and Codes *

Applicant Information

Applicant will be the main contact throughout the application process and the one to receive notification of application submittal and permit.

Is this a revision to an already approved burn plan? *
Are the Applicant and Burn Boss the same person? *

Site Information

Each programmatic or site specific burn plan must be attached with a separate prescribed burn permit application.
What is the Prescribed Burn Complexity rating*