Burn permits are issued under the authority granted by Nebraska State Statute 81-520.01 and are subject to the following rules and regulations adopted by the Southwest Rural Fire District:

  1. The fire SHALL BE ATTENDED AT ALL TIMES with sufficient means on hand to control the burning, until the fire has completely burned out.  Burned brush, logs, or other solid materials must be covered with earth or thoroughly saturated with water before the attendant leaves the site.
  2. No building materials, treated lumber, railroad ties, plastics, rubber, oil, pesticides, other hazardous waste, hazardous materials or household garbage shall be included in the fire at any time.
  3. The fire(s) shall be at least 50 feet from your own building(s) and 300 feet from a neighboring building.
  4. Open burning will not be permitted if the wind conditions exceed 15 mph: any such permit that was previously issued will be considered invalid if the wind exceeds 15 mph.
  5. No fires shall be lit before and shall be extinguished prior to the times stated by the office issuing the permit.
  1. An authorized representative of the Southwest Rural Fire Department may conduct on-site inspections at any time. Failure to follow these provisions governing the burning may lead to the revocation of this permit.
  2. Any fire, which is out of control and results in the summoning of any fire department, is subject to possible legal action. The property owner and person supervising the burn accepts all financial responsibility for any costs Incurred (including fire suppression cost) if the fire becomes out of control.
  3. The fire may be extinguished by Southwest Rural Fire Department regardless of whether a permit is issued if: (1) in the opinion of the officer, the conditions have changed and have become too dangerous to allow an open fire to continue burning; (2) if complaints are received regarding the fire/smoke; (3) if any of the above conditions of this permit have been violated.


Please fill out the form below to apply. If the form is not there, we are not issuing burn permits at this time and ask you try again at a later date

Please allow up to 24 hours for response

(Email response will be from a swfire.org email address; please add to your safe senders list or check your junk/spam email folders.)


Updated April 18, 2024 at midnight

Based upon a review of the National Weather Service – Valley forecast for the area, including the Southwest Fire District – Burn permits will be issued on a LIMITED BASIS given the daily forecast outlook.  Please do your part and look at the following National Weather Service – Valley (68522 Link) prior to submitting a burn permit application:   https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=40.793014&lon=-96.745379

You will find a daily forecast and an hourly graph of temperatures, sustained wind, wind gusts and RH.  There will be some days (i.e. Friday and Sunday) that at this time appear to be favorable to grassland burning (if you have an approved burn plan on file with Southwest and the weather conditions fit the plan submitted and previously reviewed).  Submit your online burn permit via this website.  So yes, there are limited days to burn grassland without piles of brush.

As you review this hourly weather forecast, you will see that the day(s) following a decent day to burn that the sustained/wind gusts are again high in the 20 to 30 mph range.  Continuously monitor your previously burned areas.

Brush Piles ——- So the question I ask you….is your brush pile that important for you to burn right now ?  Are YOU going to be present the day(s) following the burning of your brush pile when the wind kicks up and changes direction, so YOU can monitor and contain it ?  I think there will be better days in the future to burn brush piles than this upcoming week. 

Remember, no burning with winds over 15 mph. 

As always, we will continue to evaluate regularly.  Respectfully, Southwest Fire Chief.



Detailed Forecast


A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 10am, then a slight chance of showers between 10am and 11am. Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 58. Breezy, with a north wind 17 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.


Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Northwest wind 5 to 8 mph.


Partly sunny, with a high near 54. North northwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.


Mostly sunny, with a high near 62. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.


A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. Breezy, with a south wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.


Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. North northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.


A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 69. Southeast wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.