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The original item was published from 5/11/2021 4:22:00 PM to 6/18/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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Linn County Front Page News

Posted on: May 11, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Derecho Tree Debris Self-Haul Site to Close May 16

Man cutting tree with chainsaw


The self-haul drop-off site for derecho tree debris from unincorporated Linn County will close permanently at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 16, 2021. Linn County opened the site, located at Wickiup Hill Learning Area, 10260 Morris Hills Road in Toddville, for residents of unincorporated Linn County to dispose of tree and other vegetative debris from the August 2020 derecho. Residents who live in unincorporated Linn County can continue to self-haul their vegetative derecho debris to this location and drop it off at no charge through May 16. Please note staff is not available to help unload debris.

To meet FEMA reimbursement requirements, this drop-off location is for tree and other vegetative derecho debris from property in unincorporated Linn County only; for this reason, pre-registration is required. To register your delivery, complete the online registration form or call 319-892-6000.


Linn County’s debris removal contractor, Ceres Environmental Services, Inc., is almost finished removing derecho tree debris that was placed in the ROW by the Nov. 9, 2020 deadline. They expect to complete their work by the end of this week. Linn County documented these locations following the Nov. 9 deadline and submitted this information to FEMA to meet reimbursement requirements. Any vegetative/tree debris that was placed in the ROW after the Nov. 9 deadline is the responsibility of the property owner. To date, more than one million cubic yards of tree debris have been processed from property in unincorporated Linn County.


Residents who live in unincorporated Linn County within the half-mile buffer zone around the cities of Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha (zoned as Urban Services Residential - USR) can continue to request a no fee registration to openly burn tree debris from the August derecho. Typically, open burning in this half-mile buffer zone is not allowed. To register an open burn, complete the online registration form or call 319-892-6000 to register. It is important for residents to complete the open burn registration request so that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments are aware of the potential for open burning.

Residents in unincorporated Linn County outside the half-mile USR buffer zone should continue to obtain open burning permits through the regular online application portal from Linn County Public Health or by calling 319-892-6000.

Open Burning Rules

  • A landowner may only burn landscape waste from their own property; they cannot burn material transported to their property from another property. Only a municipal site operated by a local governmental entity may openly burn trees and tree trimmings originating from another property.
  • Landowners in the half-mile buffer zone may only burn vegetative debris derived from the August derecho.
  • Burning shall only occur from dawn to dusk. 
  • Burning shall not be conducted when wind speeds exceed 15 mph.
  • Secondary fuels including gasoline, diesel, or rubber tires shall not be used to ignite landscape waste.
  • Maximize the separation distance from the fire to any structure or combustible materials.  
  • Have a plan for fire extinguishment, such as a garden hose connected to a water outlet that is long enough to reach the fire.    
  • Other Linn County municipalities may have additional local restrictions more restrictive than Linn County rules. Please check with your local officials before starting an open burn.
  • Never leave a fire unattended, especially overnight.


Linn County is working with the USDA’s Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service on a separate project to protect infrastructure and waterways by removing derecho debris from natural waterways that could either damage a downstream bridge or block a structure resulting in flooding. This project is scheduled to begin May 17, 2021 and may include temporary lane closures and flaggers to help with traffic control and safety during debris removal. 

Learn more about this project.

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