MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Muscatine Fire Department (MFD) responded to a 9-1-1 call of a structure fire Monday (March 18) afternoon with two fire engines, a ladder truck, two ambulances, a pickup, and two police cars. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that MFD responds to such a call with such a force.
Turns out the homeowner was burning brush in the back yard and creating a big cloud of smoke.
But what if those resources were needed elsewhere ...
With Spring just days away and the temperatures rising to levels that are bringing a return to outdoor activities such as sitting around a camp fire and enjoying a wiener roast or working in the yard, residents are reminded that open burning within the corporate limits of the City of Muscatine is not allowed without securing a permit from the Muscatine Fire Department.
Burn permits are available at the Public Safety Building during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or online on the City of Muscatine MFD Page under PERMITS. Rules are located in Title 15, Chapter 5 of the Muscatine City Code that lists the purposes for which a permit will be issued, the hours that open burning is allowed, and restrictions for open burning.
Generally, organizational bon fires, wiener roasts or cooking fires, and outdoor fireplaces (fire pits, fire rings, chimneys, and permanent outdoor campfire structures) are allowed between 7 a.m. and midnight on the days stipulated on the permit. And that permit is free and available online on the Fire & EMS page on the City of Muscatine website.
The burning of landscape waste is not permitted on properties of one acre or less. The Fire Department may inspect properties of an acre or more before granting a permit to burn landscape waste. There is a fee for these permits which are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
More information about open burning is available for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Muscatine Fire Department provides fire and emergency medical services, rescues (high angle, rope, water, etc.), building inspections, and public education for the City of Muscatine, and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Muscatine County with a combined population of 43,000 across 145 square miles while also providing HAZMAT for Muscatine, Louisa, Washington, Keokuk, and Henry counties. MFD firefighters and paramedics responded to 5,027 calls in 2018. The Muscatine Fire Department began as a volunteer fire company on January 7, 1875 and was established as a full-time department in January 1916. The Muscatine Fire Department ambulance service received the 2012 Career Ambulance service of the Year Award from Iowa Emergency Medical Services.