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Post Storm Clean Up




The recent high wind event may require municipalities to provide post-storm cleanup services to their residents.  Municipalities may submit application to Polk County Public Works – Air Quality Division for open burning of tree debris.


Open Burning – Permit Application Process:


Municipalities within Polk County can submit applications to open burn with the form provided on the Air Quality Division’s website:


Or contact us for assistance at:


Polk County Public Works – Air Quality Division:

Phone: (515)-286-3705
Fax: (515)-286-3437
Operating Hours: 7AM - 3:30PM / M-F

Polk County Public Works:
5885 NE 14 Street
Des Moines, IA 50313


Applicable Restrictions:


Per Polk County Board of Health, upon receipt of an application the Air Quality Division is authorized to issue a permit for an open fire for the following purposes: 


(1)           Disaster rubbish. 


The open burning of rubbish, including landscape waste, for the duration of the community disaster period in cases where an officially declared emergency condition exists.


(2)           Tree and tree trimmings.  


The open burning of trees and tree trimmings not originating on the premises provided that the burning site be;

  • operated by a local governmental entity,
  • the burning site is fenced and access is controlled,
  • burning is conducted on a regularly scheduled basis and is supervised at all times,
  • burning is conducted only when weather conditions are favorable with respect to surrounding property,
  • burning site is limited to areas at least one-quarter mile from any inhabited building (may be waived if needed) 


The burn permit may contain conditions and is subject to the provisions set forth in Chapter V.


However, when the open burning of trees and tree trimmings causes air pollution as defined in section 455B.131(3) Code of Iowa, the Health Officer may take appropriate action to relocation of the burning operation.  Rubber tires shall not be used to ignite trees and tree trimmings.