Do I need insurance to conduct a prescribed fire?

Insurance is not a requirement for conducting prescribed fires. There are a few states that have insurance requirements in their burn certification programs. Check your state laws or requirements for specific information.

Insurance is a form of risk management that can be used when conducting prescribed fires. There are a few insurance companies that will insure prescribed burn activities. Insurance can provide burners the peace of mind of liability protection. In many states, landowner farm and ranch liability policies will cover damages caused by an escaped fire. However, check the policy for details and with your local agent to make sure.

Am I liable if my prescribed fire escapes?

The liability issue of an escaped prescribed fire goes back to individual state laws, and each state is different. Several states have a prescribed burning act that protects prescribed burners from liability as long as they follow the guidelines of the law. Other states have strict liability laws which state that if the fire escapes, the person setting the fire is liable no matter what precautions were taken. Consult and understand your state laws and regulations before conducting a prescribed fire. Check with your state prescribed fire council for additional guidance or to learn about enacting a prescribed burning act as described above (Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils).