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Oct 4. Backyard Burn Season closed. Ag requires a LE-5 permit





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Agricultural Burning

Agricultural Burning

Burn Day Hotline 1-800-834-2876

Starting May 1, 2023 Backyard Burn Season will be closed. Agricultural Burning is permitted, however a CAL FIRE LE-5 permit, in addition to an APCD Agricultural Burn Permit, is also required. NEW THIS YEAR - To obtain a CAL FIRE permit, you must go to https://burnpermit.fire.ca.gov/ 

We are highly encouraging those that have held burn permits within the last two years to renew this season online.

Agricultural Burn Permit Overview

  • • Agricultural burning is defined as open outdoor fires used in agricultural operations in the growing of crops or raising of fowl or animals, used in vegetation, forest or range management, the improvement of land for wildlife and game habitat, or agricultural disease or pest prevention.
    -   In order to qualify for an Agricultural burn permit, the applicant must be able to prove that income is derived from agricultural practices on property where the burn is located; a Farmers' Market Certificate is sufficient proof of agricultural income.
  • Agricultural burning is allowed year-round on Permissive Burn Days in San Luis Obispo County by permit. During Fire Season (approximately May 1 through the declared end of Fire Season) CAL FIRE Permits are also required; contact your local CAL FIRE station for details here.
  • A separate permit is required for each non-contiguous or non-adjacent property.
  • Any burning of cannabis waste is prohibited.
  • The fee for an agricultural burn permit is $100.

Agricultural Burning Permit Applications 

There are three ways to currently obtain an agricultural burn permit during Burn Season:

1)  Online Permit Application Renewal 

  • Available for individuals who held an agricultural burn permit within the past two burn seasons; your previous burn permit number or Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) will be required to complete this process.
  • Click here to renew your agricultural burn permit and process credit card payment. Process fees apply to credit card transactions.
  • This site will serve as your “Application” as we have your information from previous burn seasons, no need to complete another Application.
  • After payment of the fee, please allow a minimum of five (5) business days for the APCD to issue your Burn Permit and send it to you via email or U.S. Mail if an email address is not provided or is illegible.

2)  Paper Application Form

  • Pick up burn permit application form from one of locations listed in document here or print out a PDF here. Complete all sections and sign the Application for Agricultural Burning. 
  • Enclose a $100.00 check.
  • Mail or hand deliver the form and permit fee to:

             San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District
             3433 Roberto Court
             San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

3)  In-person Submittal of Application  

  • Submit a completed application form to the APCD office during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1p.m. – 5 p.m.).
  • Provide payment of check, cash, or credit card (process fees apply to credit card transactions).
  • Burn permit is issued upon transaction completion.

For additional APCD information, please contact the Air District's Compliance Division at (805) 781-5912.

Burning Requirements

  • Burning may only be conducted on a Permissive Burn Day at the indicated burn site. Please call the Burn Day Hotline at 1-800-834-2876 or check the APCD website for the current burn day status.
    -  Burn day forecasting for all burning is a two-zone system (Coastal and Inland) to provide accurate forecasts. View the Burn Zone Map here.
  • Agricultural burning is as defined in APCD Rule 502. Only material grown for agricultural use on the permit holder’s land may be burned.
  • It is ILLEGAL to burn the following materials:

    RUBBER - tires, fabric, sponge, etc.
    PLASTIC - drip tape, containers, objects, floor covering, synthetic fibers, etc.
    HYDROCARBONS – diesel, oil, grease, solvent, paint, or items heavily coated with these.
    LUMBER or CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS – dimensional lumber whether treated or not, plywood, etc.
    TAR or CREOSOTE - impregnated paper, shingles, roofing materials, wood, etc.
    CANNABIS WASTE – any cannabis waste or byproduct
  • All agricultural waste shall be burned in place or stacked loosely, dried and be free of dirt and surface moisture. Drying times, after cutting or uprooting are: 10 days for wastes from field crops, 3 weeks for prunings and small branches, and 6 weeks for trees and large branches.
  • An agricultural burn permit is valid for up to 100 tons of piled material, or up to 10 acres of standing vegetation. Please contact the APCD if you plan to burn more than these thresholds.
  • All burns must be attended at all time with appropriate fire extinguishing equipment (California Fire Code 307.5).
  • No fire shall be started before the announcement of a burn day or before sunrise. No fire shall be started or added to after two hours before sunset.
  • No fire shall be started if the wind direction is toward a populated area that is within 2-1/2 miles of the burn site.
  • Commercially available starter fluid or lighter fluid may be used to ignite burn piles; other accelerants or flammable liquids shall not be used.
  • Permission to burn may be revoked or suspended for fire prevention reasons during adverse weather conditions, or for violation of any terms, conditions or applicable rules and regulations.
  • Penalties will be imposed for obtaining an agricultural permit under false premises such as disposal of vegetation prior to development.
  • All applicable APCD Rules and Regulations must be adhered to.

For questions, please contact the APCD Compliance staff at 805.781.5912.