Public Act 095-0108
Public Act 0108 95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
|Public Act 095-0108
||LRB095 08222 CMK 28392 b
AN ACT concerning the environment.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Illinois Prescribed Burning Act.
Legislative findings; purpose.
(a) Prescribed burning is a land management tool that
benefits the safety of the public, the environment, and the
economy of the State. Therefore, the General Assembly finds
(1) Most of the State's natural communities require
periodic fire for maintenance of their ecological health.
Prescribed burning is essential to the perpetuation,
restoration, and management of many plant and animal
communities. Significant loss of the State's biological
diversity will occur if fire is excluded from these
(2) Public agencies and non-governmental organizations
in the State have spent millions of dollars to purchase
hundreds of thousands of acres of land for parks, wildlife
areas, State forests, nature preserves and other outdoor
recreational purposes. The use of prescribed burning for
management of these public and private lands is essential
to maintain the specific resource values for which these
areas were acquired.
(3) Forests, grasslands, and wetlands in the State
constitute significant economic, biological, and aesthetic
resources of statewide importance. Prescribed burning
prepares sites for planting, removes undesirable competing
vegetation, accelerates nutrient cycling, controls certain
pathogens and noxious weeds, and promotes oak
regeneration. In these communities, prescribed burning
improves and maintains the quality and quantity of wildlife
(4) Prescribed burning reduces naturally occurring
vegetative fuels. Reducing the fuel load reduces the risk
and severity of wildfires, thereby reducing the threat of
loss of life and property.
(5) Federal and State agencies promote and subsidize
fire dependent vegetative communities and recommend
prescribed burning as an essential management practice for
many funded programs.
(6) Proper training in the purposes, use, and
application of prescribed burning is necessary to ensure
maximum benefits and protection for the public.
(7) Prescribed burning in the hands of trained,
skilled, and experienced people is safe and often the most
cost effective management technique to accomplish many
ecosystem restoration objectives and ecological goals.
(8) A public education program is necessary to make
citizens and visitors aware of the public safety, natural
resource, and economic benefits of prescribed burning and
its use as a land management tool.
(9) As development and urbanization increase in the
State, pressures from liability issues, and nuisance
complaints will inhibit the use of prescribed burning.
(b) It is the purpose of this Act to authorize and to
promote the continued use of prescribed burning for ecological,
forest, wetland, wildlife management, and grassland management
As used in this Act:
(a) "Prescribed burning" means the planned application of
fire to naturally occurring vegetative fuels under specified
environmental conditions and following appropriate
precautionary measures, which causes the fire to be confined to
a predetermined area and accomplish the planned land management
(b) "Certified prescribed burn manager" means an
individual who successfully completes an approved training
program and receives proper certification.
(c) "Prescription" means a written plan for conducting a
(d) "Department" means the Illinois Department of Natural
(a) Before conducting a prescribed burn under this Act, a
(1) obtain the written consent of the landowner;
(2) have a written prescription approved by a certified
prescribed burn manager;
(3) have at least one certified prescribed burn manager
present on site with a copy of the prescription while the
burn is being conducted;
(4) notify the local fire department, county
dispatcher, 911 dispatcher, or other designated emergency
dispatcher on the day of the prescribed burn; and
(5) make a reasonable attempt to notify all adjoining
property owners and occupants of the date and time of the
(b) The property owner and any person conducting a
prescribed burn under this Act shall be liable for any actual
damage or injury caused by the fire or resulting smoke upon
proof of negligence.
(c) Any prescribed burning conducted under this Act:
(1) is declared to be in the public interest;
(2) does not constitute a public or private nuisance
when conducted in compliance with Section 9 of the
Environmental Protection Act and all other State statutes
and rules applicable to prescribed burning; and
(3) is a property right of the property owner if
naturally occurring vegetative fuels are used.
The Department, in consultation with the
Office of the State Fire Marshall, shall promulgate rules to
implement this Act, including but not limited to, rules
governing prescribed burn manager certification and revocation
and rules governing prescribed burn prescriptions.
Nothing in this Act shall be
(1) requiring certification as a prescribed burn manager to
conduct prescribed burning on one's own property or on the
lands of another with the landowner's permission; Section 15(b)
shall not apply to prescribed burns conducted under the
exemption in this item (1);
(2) affecting any obligations or liability under the
Environmental Protection Act or any rules adopted thereunder,
or under any federal laws or rules that apply to prescribed
(3) superseding any local burning law.
The Department may charge and collect
fees from persons applying for safety training and
certification as a certified prescribed burn manager.
The provisions of this Act are
severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
This Act takes effect upon
Effective Date: 8/13/2007