Open Burning


Effective May 4, pursuant to Sonoma County Code Chapter 13-71, County of Sonoma Fire Prevention Division announces that burning permits are required in the unincorporated areas of the County in both the Local Responsibility Areas (LRA) and State Responsibility Areas (SRA). (SRA MAP LINK)

Consistent with Sonoma County Code, the County of Sonoma Fire Prevention Division has placed the same permitting requirement in effect within unincorporated Sonoma County and will coordinate with CAL FIRE to implement a burn suspension (burn ban) when conditions warrant.

Residents must obtain permits from their local Air Quality Management District. In the SRA, a CAL FIRE permit is required in addition to an air quality permit. An online application provides a convenient alternative to obtaining a CAL FIRE permit. Applicants can access the website at: BurnPermit.fire.ca.gov Watch the mandatory video which reviews burning requirements and safety tips, submit the form, and a dooryard burn permit will be created. In the LRA, residents must obtain an Air Quality permit, and contact the local fire district, who may issue a burn permit.


Persons burning under special permit must also check with their regional air quality management district and local fire district for additional regulations and requirements. You can find out which air quality management district your property is in by visiting: sonomacounty.ca.gov/Air-Quality

To contact local air quality districts, see below:

  • Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District: (707) 433-5911
  • Bay Area Air Pollution Control District (Napa, Marin and Southern Sonoma County): (415) 749-5000

For more information please visit: sonomacounty.ca.gov/FirePrevention or www.fire.ca.gov


General Rules and Conditions in the Sonoma Valley Fire District
Follow all rules and requirements on your issued BAAQ / and or Cal-Fire Burn Permit 

The SVFD as the local fire agency is not currently issuing separate burn permits. 

1. AIR QUALITY NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT: Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) regulations requires notification prior to burning on the BAAQMD Regulation 5 Notification Form. Notification may be sent by FAX, mail (postmarked at least 5 days prior to burning), or as an email attachment. Verbal notification is not acceptable. 

2. Once notification to the BAAQMD has been made, burn only on permissive burn days when weather conditions make it safe to do so. 
  • To determine if it's a burn day, call 1-800-792-0787, or subscribe to the Open Burn Status (RSS) feed http://www.baaqmd.gov/Feeds/OpenBurnRSS.aspx. Sonoma County is in the Northern Zone of the BAAQMD. 
  • Notify the Redwood Empire Dispatch Communications Authority (REDCOM) prior to burning at (707) 565-1700. 
  • Notify SVFRA prior to burning: (707) 996-2102. 

3. No burning is allowed before 10:00 a.m., and you may not add to the fire 2 hours before sunset. All burn piles must be managed to ensure that smoke is not produced after sunset. This means that allowing material such as stumps and tree trunks to smolder after sunset is not prohibited. 

4. Burn only acceptable materials: 
  • You may burn only the byproducts of your agricultural business, e.g. dry prunings, vines, etc. You may not burn residential yard waste such as landscape debris, garden trimmings, leaves, grass, lumber, pressure treated wood, stakes, trash, or plastics, etc.
  • Materials must be dry and arranged to promote rapid combustion. 
  • The burning of treated or painted wood, household garbage, plastics, shop waste, wood waste, demolition debris, oil filters, tires, or tar paper is strictly prohibited.
  • Please insure an adequate water supply is nearby that can extinguish the fire if necessary as noted under the General Safety Guidelines.


GENERAL SAFETY PRACTICES 

• Have shovels and other tools nearby. 

• This permit is valid only on days which are determined “permissive burn days” by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 41855 and have no fire restriction. 

• You may only conduct the burn on a “permissive” burn day. Call the Burn Status Hotline at 1-800- 792-0787 to obtain this information. 

• Open burning will only be conducted during the hours established by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. 

• An adult must be in attendance at all times to prevent the spread of fire or the creation of hazardous conditions. 

• All fires must be conducted only on the premises of the owner or lessee provided, however, that the term “premises” does not include the area within the right-of-way of any street. 

• No fires will be conducted on any public or private street or within the right-of-way of a public or private street. 

• An adequate water supply capable of controlling and extinguishing the fire shall be provided at the burning site. An adequate water supply can include a garden hose connected to a water supply, portable fire extinguisher (2A-10BC), or a minimum of 5 gallons of water in a container. 

• Burning shall be done when weather conditions do not create an unsafe burning condition. 

• If the smoke is affecting your neighbor or creating an unsafe condition, open burning shall be suspended until such time that conditions are more favorable to open burning. 

• Maximum burn pile size per by BAAQMD (see Regulation 5: Open Burn, General Open Burn Information). 

• An area within 10 feet of the outer edge of the pile shall be maintained free and clear of flammable material and vegetation. Keep fire a minimum of 50 feet from combustibles, property lines, structures, overhead wires, vehicles, etc. 

• Only dry, natural, vegetative material such as leaves, pine needles, and tree trimmings that originated on the property may be burned. 

• Burning household garbage is NOT allowed. 

• NEVER burn on windy days.