Placer County administers the county’s burn program as provided for in the California Health and Safety Code. Smoke Management Burning rules can be found in the District’s Regulation 3: Open Burning. Agricultural burners, such as rice growers or land managers, have special restrictions or allowances set upon when they can burn that are part of the Air Pollution Control District's (APCD) Smoke Management Program (PDF). All Agricultural Burning requires an APCD year-round burn permit from the Placer County Air Pollution Control District. The payment of all applicable permit fees is required for a permit to be valid. Burn permits can be obtained at the District office.
Contact your local fire agency before you burn to find out their requirements, including fire agency burn permits. Fire Agency burning requirements have residential pile size restrictions, however, the APCD has no burn pile size requirements. Air Pollution requirements restrict burning to dry vegetative materials, excluding lawn-clippings. The vegetative material must be grown on the property where the burning is done.
Preventing Smoke Nuisances
All outdoor burning must be conducted in such a way as to prevent the smoke from creating a smoke nuisance. Burning wet materials or burning in large quantities produces smoke that lingers and can offend people in addition to significantly affecting air quality. Burning during daylight hours is suggested - thus allowing sunlight to heat the ground surface, evaporate morning dew and allow smoke to lift, mix, and disperse.
The use of open outdoor fires used in agricultural operations in the growing of crops (e.g. plants or fruit/nut trees or Christmas tree farm prunings or a nursery or raising of fowl or animals) for the primary purpose of making a profit or providing a livelihood.
The use of open outdoor fires to remove vegetation for a wildlife, game or livestock habitat, or for the initial establishment of an agricultural practice on previously uncultivated land.
Forest Management Burning
The use of open outdoor fires, as part of a forest management practice, clean up of vegetation after a timber harvest, tree farm activities or silvicultural practices related with managing timber/forest including prescribed burning. Contact the District to determine if a Smoke Management Plan is required in addition to a District burn permit.
Wildland Vegetation Management Burning
The use of prescribed burning conducted by a public agency or through a cooperative agreement or contract involving a public agency to burn land predominantly covered with chaparral, trees, grass or standing brush. Contact the District to determine if a Smoke Management Plan is required in addition to a District burn permit.
Please contact the Placer County Air Pollution Control District at 530-745-2330 if you would like additional information concerning air pollution open burning requirements. It is our belief that having a public that is knowledgeable about both APCD and local fire agencies burning requirements will aid the general welfare of everyone by improving air quality and preventing hazardous burning.