Burn Ordinance

McHenry County Public Health Ordinance
Article III – Section 1.29
Effective April 1, 2008

Prohibited at ALL times:

  • Burning of manure, garbage, litter, etc. on any property in McHenry County.
  • Burning of landscape waste within 100 Feet of a habitable structure.  (i.e. residence, school, etc.)
  • Burning of landscape waste within 50 Feet of a non-habitable structure.  (i.e. detached garage, barn, etc.)

Restrictions when greater than 100 Feet from a habitable structure and 50 Feet from a non-habitable structure:

  • Only landscape waste and only on the property where the landscape waste was generated.
  • Only on weekends during the months of April, May, October and November.
  • Only between dusk and dawn.
  • Only when winds are less than 10 m.p.h.
  • Must be supervised by an individual of at least 18 years of age.
  • A fire extinguisher, garden hose or water source must be available at the burning site.

500-Foot Exemptions:

  • Burning of on-site generated landscape waste when 500 Feet or more away from a habitable structure is allowed.
  • During any months of the year.
  • On any day of the week.
  • At any time of day.

Other Exemptions (Allowed):

  • Recreational fires; not larger than 3′ x 3′ x 3′ in size, and excludes leaves, grass or shrubbery.
  • Ceremonial fires (bonfires) larger than 3′ x 3′ x 3′, and excludes leaves, grass or shrubbery clippings.
    • Permit is required from McHenry County Department of Health.
  • Habitat reclamation.


  • Any officer of the McHenry County Department of Health, law enforcement agency, fire department or fire protection district is authorized to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance.

For more information, contact CFPD or the McHenry County Department of Health:

McHenry County Department of Health
Environmental Division
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098