Main Office
69 W Washington Street Room 1900
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone Number
(312) 603-8200
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During the COVID-19 response, the department will not be issuing new open burn permits.  The department is taking this action to conserve first responder resources in the unlikely event the local fire department is required to respond to an open burn.  For existing permits, the permit holder should be cognizant of the potential burden their open burn activities may have on local fire departments.  If you have any questions, please contact the department at

Cook County government requires open burning permits in suburban and unincorporated Cook County to protect life, property, prevent forest fires and false fire alarms. The regulations stipulate the conditions under which open burning may occur. Open burning permits also give authorities prior notice to any burn.

Open burning permits are required, but not limited to the following burning situations:

  •     Prairie Burn
  •     Pan Fire Training
  •     Sectional Building Fires (for training purposes)
  •     Landscape Waste
  •     Air Curtain Incinerator for Landscape Waste

Note: The above list does not cover all burning situations in which an open burning permit is required. For the complete list of the criteria for legal and illegal open burning, please refer to the Cook County Ordinance.  If you have any questions please email or call (312) 603-8200 option 3.

As of December 1, 2017, the Cook County Department of Environmental Control is now the Department of Environment and Sustainability.