Missouri laws, rules or regulations do not specifically address prescribed burning, however prescribed burning is covered under Missouri’s open burning regulations.
Law regulating open burning in Missouri is found in the Code of State Regulations, Rules of the Department of Natural Resources, Division 10, Chapter 6, 10 CSR 10-6.045, Open Burning Requirements. Paragraph 3, sub-paragraph (I) on page 48 of the document, though it does not specifically mention prescribed burning, is applicable.
Missouri DNR has created a fact sheet which summarizes the law related to prescribed burning under the section, Open Burning in Agricultural, Natural Resource or Land Management Operations.
There are no restrictions or burn permits required on prescribed burning for natural resource management with the exception of, if burning between the dates of April 15 and September 15 in an ozone nonattainment area, you must notify the staff director (interpreted to mean DNR) in writing 48 hours prior to conducting the burn. The department reserves the right to delay the burn.
Section 107(d)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act defines a nonattainment area as any area that does not meet or that contributes to nearby areas not meeting the ambient air quality standard. Nonattainment areas are subject to change.
Click below for guidance to find local regulations.
Missouri does not have a statute defining prescribed fire liability. The Missouri Prescribed Fire Council supports the adoption of a statute establishing liability for prescribed burning and individuals conducting prescribed burns.
The following two bills have been pre-filed during the 2021 legislative session in an effort to define prescribed fire liability.
Follow the list of legislative bills CFM is monitoring on their Legislative Action Center (LAC).
Farm policies MAY cover prescribed fire liability on the policy holder’s property. Check with your insurance carrier prior to burning to verify you have coverage.
Since Missouri has no law defining prescribed fire liability you must assume strict liability will be applied, meaning the burden of restitution for damages from the fire are on the burner regardless of any and all actions taken by the burner to avoid damages. However, you may also weigh the risk involved to determine if you can safely conduct the burn with minimal risk, limiting your exposure to liability
Common commercial insurance lines do not carry prescribed fire insurance, only specialized companies. The following link provides guidance on insurance and lists several companies providing insurance. NOTE: the survey identifying insurance carriers was last updated in 2015; some agencies may no longer offer coverage or changed their criteria for issuing a policy.