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Find out how and when open burning is allowed in the Bay Area, what burn types are acceptable, and what the process is for notifying the Air District.
The disposal of waste material in an open, outdoor fire can be a significant source of air pollution. Smoke from open burning contains fine particles, harmful gases, and other toxic byproducts that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Exposure to these pollutants has been linked to respiratory and heart problems, asthma, and in some cases, premature death. Those most at risk include children, elderly adults, and people with chronic respiratory problems.
To reduce the harmful effects of smoke on public health, open burning is banned within the Air District’s boundaries, except for the 17 burn types defined by the Open Burning Regulation(41 Kb PDF, 12 pgs).
Much of the legal open burning that goes on in the Bay Area takes place for agricultural or natural resource management reasons.
Each allowable burn type(40 Kb PDF, 1 pg) is only permitted during a specific time of year(40 Kb PDF, 1 pg) (also known as its permissive burn period), on a designated burn day. The Air District may extend permissive burn periods in some cases. Any proposed burn may also be restricted by local fire or other agencies.
The Air District must be notified of all open burns via the notification forms provided in the table below. Mailed notifications must be postmarked at least five calendar days prior to burning. Structural fire training notifications must be postmarked at least 10 business days prior to burning.
Some CAL FIRE regions require a burn permit and burn pile inspection prior to open burning. Contact your local CAL FIRE region for more information.
Qualifying agricultural burn types can avoid open burn fees by having waste material chipped instead of burned through the Agricultural Waste Chipping Program.
Open burn fees can be paid online:
Open Burn Fees
Other Open Burn Fees
Prescribed, Marsh, Stubble, Filmmaking and Public Exhibition Fires
415 749 4999
No Spare the Air Alert in Effect
Air Quality Widgets
Last Updated: 9/21/2016