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Frequently Asked Questions

The material in this question and answer series is for your information only. It is not legal advice and is not designed to be used in place of legal advice. You should consult your own attorney for legal advice. The St. Joseph Legal Department provides this series to provide a general summary of procedures concerning violations of city ordinances in the City of St. Joseph, Missouri. It is issued to inform generally, not to advise of specific rights. As with any general information, the answers given here may not specifically apply to you.
When are the burning periods?
There are two periods - one in the Spring and one in the Fall. The dates are determined by a request from the Health Department to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Missouri DNR then grants the request for a three-week period in the spring and in the fall. The Fire Department is only responsible for enforcing the open burning rules and regulations.

Open burning guidelines:


  • Burning for yard waste of residential properties only

  • Burning shall be allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

  • All fires must be in an upright cylindrical metal container with a volume equal to no more than 55 gallons.
  • Containers must be located at least fifteen (15) feet away from any building. Only one burn container per residence is allowed.

  • All fires shall be monitored from a point on the property where the fire is located, by a person capable of containing a fire, should containment become necessary.

  • ONLY dry yard waste such as leaves, brush and logs grown on the property can be burned. NO trash, paper, lumber or building debris may be burned.

  • Fire-fighting material, including but not limited to, a garden hose or a container of water sufficient to contain any fire started shall be at the site of the fire.

Fire Department

Show All Answers

1. How can I become a firefighter in St. Joseph?
2. What programs are available from the Fire Department?
3. When are the burning periods?
4. The Fire Department has been inspecting my building for many years and has never mentioned a violation in the past. Why are they indicating a violation this time?
5. When I need a permit, whom do I call for an inspection?
6. What is a KNOX Box?
7. Can I purchase a rapid entry key system (Knox Box) for my business?
8. What code does the City of St Joseph Fire Department use?
9. My building has a sprinkler system. Are there things I should do to maintain the system?
10. My building has a fire alarm system. Are there things I should do to maintain the system?
11. Our alarm system keeps having false alarms. The alarm goes off but no fire is found. Can’t we do something about this?
12. I’ve heard quite a lot about carbon monoxide. Could I have this in my house and do I need a carbon monoxide detector?
13. Can I burn brush or yard waste in St. Joseph?
14. How can I get a fire truck to come to my event?
15. People completely disregard the fire lanes in my building. What can I do about it?
16. If during an inspection a violation is found how long do I have to fix it?