- Departments A - D
- Air Pollution Control
- Residential Burning
Important Information to Know Before Burning
- All vegetation must be dry and reasonably free from dirt.
- Before it rains, cover your burn pile with a tarp to keep it dry.
- If your burn pile is wet, let it dry before burning.
- Burn only that amount of vegetation that can be reasonably expected to burn within 24 hours.
- Avoid causing a smoke nuisance by curtailing your burning when it is drifting to neighbors or nearby businesses.
- Visit the CAL FIRE website for safety tips and requirements when burning vegetation.
- Is residential backyard burning allowed in Placer County?
Residential burning is allowed, in a burn pile, at a single or two family residence. All burning must be done in a pile as burn barrels/containers were prohibited in 2004.
- Do I need a burn permit?
An Air District Burn Permit is not required for residential burning, however a fire agency burn permit may be required. Contact your local fire agency before you burn at your residence to find out their requirements. Information on CAL FIRE's Burn Restrictions and Burn Permits can be found at their website.
Burning on or at a vacant lot, parcel or a business is not considered residential burning and requires a burn permit from the Air District, if not otherwise prohibited.
- What can be burned?
Only vegetation originating from a single or two family residence as listed below can be burned.
- Dry Brush/Shrubs
- Dry Grasses and Forbs
- Dry Leaves
- Dry Pine Needles
- Dry Plants and Flowers
- Dry Trees and Trimmings
- Dry Vines
- Dry Weeds
The burning of lawn clippings and cannabis is prohibited. Do not burn oleanders or poison oak as the smoke can be hazardous. Non-glossy paper can still be used to start a fire. Know what is in your burn pile as you are responsible if illegal materials are burned.
- When can I burn?
Burning is allowed only on a burn day and in those areas of Placer County that allow burning. For the Greater Auburn Area (within 12 miles) or for all cell phones, call 530-889-6868 or for all other areas of Placer County (land lines only), call 800-998-BURN (2876) toll-free.
It is the policy of the Air District that federal holidays are no burn days in Placer County. If you live next to a school, daycare, playground, ball field, etc, consider burning only when children or students are not present. On days when the fire danger is increased, the Air District works very closely with local fire officials to include their information in the burn day message.
- What are the different drying times for vegetation?
Material & Size Required Drying Times
Prunings/cuttings less than 3 inches diameter needs 15 days minimum of drying
Prunings, brush, small branches 3 to 6 inches diameter needs 3 to 6 weeks drying
Trees, stumps and large branches greater than 6 inches diameter needs 6 weeks minimum drying
Stumps or vegetation greater than 12 inches diameter, at the cut end, shall not be included in the burn unless they are split in half and free of dirt.
- Are there any areas of Placer County with burning restrictions?
The following areas in Placer County have additional requirements with regards to burning.
- City of Auburn (Burn permits are required from October 1st to May 31st. Burn day hours are from 8 a.m. until dark)
- Granite Bay (Burn permits are required year-round. Burn day hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and during the month of May from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Easter is a no burn day.)
The following cities and locations do not allow burning:
Many larger and/or higher density developments in Placer County have no burning through the land development process where burning has been restricted through conditional use permit or through Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs).
- Are there any alternatives to burning in Placer County?
The Air District encourages the use of alternatives instead of burning. Using an alternative to burning can be an excellent way to dispose of the annual growth of vegetation and to also eliminate a smoke nuisance.
- What are some of the materials that are illegal to burn?
The following is a list of some of the materials are illegal to burn. Smoke from burning them can contain harmful chemicals, which may cause illness.
- Asphalt shingles
- Construction/demolition debris
- Garbage or rubbish
- Lawn clippings
- Metal and cans
- Paper and cardboard (see the California Air Resources Board website for more information.)
- Plastics and glass
- Tar paper
- Poison Oak
View the Proper Disposal of Deceased Animals and Waste (PDF).
- Can I use a burn barrel/container?
On January 1, 2004 the California Air Resources Board’s Toxic Control Measure-Outdoor Residential Waste Burning became effective. This measure prohibits the use of a burn barrel/container and the burning of cardboard and paper for disposal, however non-glossy cardboard and non-glossy paper can still be used to start a fire. The community of Iowa Hill was granted an exemption in Placer County and can continue to use their burn barrels and burn clean, dry non-glossy paper as there is no garbage service at this time.