Land Development and Land Clearing Frequently Asked Questions
Updated March 21, 2012
WHAT IS LAND DEVELOPMENT BURNING?
It is the use of open outdoor fires for the disposal of vegetation grown on property being developed for commercial or residential purposes.
DO I NEED A BURN PERMIT FROM THE AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT?
- An Air District Burn Permit is required for Land Development Burning
- An Air District Burn Permit is only issued for vegetation removed for residential development purposes from the property of a single or two family dwelling or when the burn permit applicant has provided a demonstration.
- A demonstration needs to be made that there is no practical alternative that can be used in lieu of burning to dispose of the vegetation. In addition to other information provided in the application, the demonstration shall include a discussion of the availability and feasibility of the alternatives to open burning, including implementation costs; efforts made to reduce the quantity of material to be burned; the impact of burning upon air quality conditions; and such other factors that warrant inclusion such as weather considerations, topography, and hazardous fire conditions.
- Fire Agency Burn Permits may also be required. Contact your local fire agency for further information.
WHAT CAN BE BURNED?
- Only vegetation originating on the premises and reasonably free of dirt, soil, and visible surface moisture can be burned.
- The burning of poison oak (toxicodendron diversilobum) or oleander (nerium oleander) may be subject to additional permit conditions.
- You cannot move material from one location to another location for burning.
WHAT ARE ILLEGAL – DISALLOWED COMBUSTIBLES?
Tar paper, tar, and asphalt shingles Dimensioned lumber Garbage or rubbish
Paints or Coatings Plastics and Rubber Insulation
Construction Debris Tires Metal or Wire
These are some of the materials which are illegal to burn. Smoke from burning them can contain harmful chemicals, which may cause illness.
ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO BURNING?
- Compost, mulch, chip or shred branches, vegetation, leaves, or pine needles
- Recycle cardboard and paper
- Firewood larger branches and wood
- More information on alternatives to burning
- California Materials Exchange Program, matching people with things to dispose of – like doors, windows, glass, or plastic items, with people who need the same items.
- Freecycle A grass roots exchange focusing on local communities
- California Restore Directory The links above do not constitute an endorsement
ONCE I HAVE AN AIR POLLUTION PERMIT, HOW SHOULD I BURN MY MATERIAL?
All material must be DRY and reasonably free from dirt, soil, and surface moisture. Burning dry material takes less effort, creates less smoke, and may not cause a nuisance or complaints.
MATERIAL SIZE DRYING TIMES
Fine prunings or cuttings less than 3” in diameter - 15 days
Smaller than 6" in diameter - 3-6 weeks
Greater than 6" in diameter - 6 weeks
- Only material that amount of vegetation that can be reasonably expected to burn before the next day.
- Before it rains, prevent your material from getting wet by covering it with a tarp.
- If you pile is wet, let it dry a few days.
- Burn in a manner to prevent excessive smoke. Excessive smoke is that which causes a nuisance.
- Vegetation shall be stacked in such a manner to promote drying and ensure combustion with a minimum amount of smoke.
- Burning shall be curtailed when smoke is drifting into a nearby populated area or when it is or may become a nuisance or hazard.
- Vegetation to be burned should be ignited as practicable with applicable fire control restrictions.
CAN I BURN STUMPS OR LARGER VEGETATION?
Vegetation or stumps greater than 12” in diameter shall not be burned unless they are split smaller than 12” in diameter and are free from dirt. The drying time for vegetation greater than 6” applies.
WHEN CAN I BURN?
All burning must take place on a burn day. All Federal Holidays are no burn days. For Burn Day information, please call:
THE AUBURN LOCAL CALLING AREA (530) 889-6868
TOLL FREE IN PLACER COUNTY 1-800-998-2876 (BURN)
The Toll - Free number is only for landlines in Placer County.
WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ON BURNING AND AIR QUALITY?
The Placer County Air Pollution Control District
110 Maple Street
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 745-2330 - FAX (530) 745-2373 - firstname.lastname@example.org