Open Burn Permits

New CAL FIRE Permit Requirement:

As of January 1, 2023, CAL FIRE now requires a CAL FIRE permit for all burns, including residential burns, in the CAL FIRE State Response Area (SRA). A (no cost) CAL FIRE permit is obtained through their online permit site. This doesn’t remove the requirement to also have a valid air district permit. This is happening because CAL FIRE is required by law to regulate fire safety and air districts are required by law to regulate sources of air pollution.

OPEN BURN PERMITS

Safe Burning Starts Here

Open Burn Permits are required by state law in California, from the local air district, to dispose of vegetative material outdoors by open burning. Non-vegetative material may never be burned and barrel burning is prohibited by law. The District provides open burn permits for prescribed burns (habitat management and fire safety), agriculture (engaging in commerce of crop or livestock) and residential.

Permit Processing Times

The District processes over 3,000 open burn permits each year in two large batches in Spring and Fall.  It is advised that you submit your application and payment at least 2 weeks before your anticipated burn date.  Remember that your open burn permit is good through April 30th leaving lots of opportunity for permissive burn days.

The online permit option, below, typically delivers a permit by email in 2 days. Hard copy applications with an email delivery address typically take 4 days. Hard copy applications with a physical delivery address are sent by USPS and take at least 6 days.

Walk-in renewals are only available by appointment at this time.

Application and Payment Options

Due to COVID-19 and current staffing levels, the office is closed for walk-in renewals without an appointment. You may apply for your permit by mail or online, with drop-off available at our front door mail slot. Online applicants will receive an electronic copy of their permit by email in 2-4 business days. Complete the online payment application by clicking the button below. Online payment is optional and provided by “GovPay” for credit or debit card and a service charge applies.

Have a Successful Open Burn

Please review your permit before your burn. Burn permits contain District, State, and Fire Safety regulatory requirements. It is strictly prohibited to burn without a permit, to burn on a “no-burn” day, or to burn in a manner that creates excessive smoke. After May 1st, each year, CAL FIRE may require an additional permit from residents in CAL FIRE jurisdiction.

Permit Introduction & Open Burn Checklist:

Download the checklist (PDF)

Free Consultation Available

We’re here to help to ensure you have the right permit application. Contact us for a free consultation at 707-433-5911 or airquality@sonoma-county.org.