Q. Can I burn yard waste?
A. Yes….BUT, if you choose to burn yard waste, be aware that State Fire Code requires that outdoor fires must be under control and attended at all times. Adequate means for extinguishing must be readily available. Municipal code prohibits the burning of leaves or other debris in the street or on sidewalks.

Q. My neighbor is burning leaves and it stinks.  Can I make a smoke complaint?
A. Yes.  Call 641 – 683 – 0666 or 641 – 683 – 0667.   If the Ottumwa Fire Department receives a complaint about smoke, we investigate the source and, if necessary, put out the fire. If we receive repeated complaints about a specific offender, a citation can be issued.

Q.   Can I burn garbage or newspapers?
A. No.   Burning of trash, garbage, household or commercial solid waste, recyclable materials, plastics, furniture, tires, appliances, building materials and waste oil is unlawful in the City of Ottumwa. The penalty for violation is a civil citation.

Q.  Is there an reward for Arson Tips?
A.  Reward money is available through the Iowa State Fire Marshals Office for anyone who has information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for an arson crime.   Anyone with information about any intentionally set fire can contact the Ottumwa Fire Department at 683-0667, extension 3, or the Iowa Arson Hotline at 1-800-532-1459. Callers may remain anonymous.

Q. Are fireworks allowed in Ottumwa?
A. Sparklers and worms/snakes are the only legal fireworks in Iowa.   Larger fireworks displays are permitted by licensed operators with approval by the City.

Q. What’s your response time?
A.   In 96% of calls for service in Ottumwa, we arrive on the scene with personnel and equipment in 5 minutes or less.

Q. What is Ottumwa’s ISO Rating?
A.  Ottumwa’s ISO Rating was upgraded to a three in march 2017.  The ISO rating is based on a formula that considers a community’s fire personnel and equipment, water supply and dispatching capabilities. It is used by the insurance industry to develop premium rates for residential and commercial businesses.

Q. What are those small fire trucks?
A.  In 2010, the Ottumwa Fire Department added two Mini-Rescue Trucks to the fleet. The trucks are utilized on emergency medical calls, smoke complaints, and other calls that do not require a large pumper engine. The new trucks also will represent a significant cost savings in fuel and maintenance costs compared to the department’s larger pumper trucks.  One truck is housed at each fire station in Ottumwa.

Q. What are the ‘crowd manager’ requirements?
A.    The National Fire Code addresses assembly occupancy main entrance egress width, sprinklers in certain assembly occupancies, and limitations on festival seating. They also require the presence of a trained crowd manager for every 250 people in all assembly occupancies.   Training is available online through the State of Maryland.

Q. Whats a KNOX-BOX®?
A.  The KNOX-BOX® Rapid Entry System was specifically developed for fire departments. With a master key, we can gain access to commercial and residential properties.   This system is now required for new commericial properties.  More than 11,500 fire departments nationwide use Knox® key boxes.  Learn more about the KNOX-BOX online.



City of Ottumwa
Fire Department

Station #1
Central Fire Station
4th & Wapello Street

Station #2
South Fire Station
Ransom & Church Street

(641) 683-0666

For Emergencies
Dial 9-1-1