Burn Day Hotline 1-800-834-2876
Burn Zone Map (here)
Open Burning Program
Backyard Burn Season is now open. NEW THIS YEAR: A permit from CAL FIRE is required in addition to an APCD permit for agircultural and backyard burning in most areas of the county. To obtain a CAL FIRE permit, visit https://burnpermit.fire.ca.gov/
Para las regulaciones en general de la quema en el jardín trasero en forma apropiada, oprima aquí.
Backyard burning is the burning of yard green waste. Backyard burning burn piles may include dry weeds, plant prunings, shrubbery, tree trimmings, and branches.
All Backyard burning requires an APCD Burn Permit.
Many locations in SLO County also now require a permit from CAL FIRE.
To qualify for a Backyard Burn Permit, an applicant must:
- Occupy single family or duplex residence.
- Be located OUTSIDE of URL/VRL areas. To verify whether a residence is outside the URL/VRL areas, please visit our map here.
It is illegal to burn trash in San Luis Obispo County.
To obtain an APCD Agricultural Burn Permit click here.
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. Agricultural Burn Permits are required prior to conducting any burning.
All Agricultural burning requires an APCD Burn Permit.
To qualify for an Agricultural Burn Permit you must:
- Derive some income from agricultural operation (e.g., vineyard, row crop, livestock, forest, or range management). An applicant is not eligible for an Agricultural Burn permit if no income is derived from an agricultural operation.
- Burn less than 100 tons of material.
If burning more than 100 tons or 10 acres, please contact the APCD to discuss smoke management plan requirements.
All burning requires an APCD Burn Permit and a permit from CAL FIRE.
Burn permits are also required for the following:
Fire Hazard Reduction burns authorized by CAL FIRE.
Right-of-way and Tumbleweed clearing by a public entity or utility.
Contact us for more information on any of these burn permits.
Burn Day Forecasting
Burn day forecasting for both backyard and agricultural burning is a 2-zone system (Coastal and Inland) that allows for accurate forecasts. To determine which zone you are in, please refer to this map image.
The California Air Resources Board and the APCD designate Permissive Burn Days. Call the APCD Burn Day Hotline at (800) 834-2876 to find out if the current day is a Permissive Burn Day in your zone.
Burning during unsafe conditions (high temperatures, high wind speeds) can result in escaped fires. Permit holders are responsible for all burning activities and may receive misdemeanor citations and/or be billed for suppression costs. The APCD urges permit holders to carefully follow the conditions stated on their permits or seek alternatives to burning, such as green-waste disposal, chipping, and composting. If smoke or flying ash is produced while burning and becomes a nuisance, the burn permit may be revoked.
Prescribed Burning & Smoke Management Plans
Prescribed burning is the use of fire to manage wildlands, rangelands and forests with the goal of reducing hazardous fuels and protecting human communities from extreme fires. APCD Rule 502, Agricultural and Prescribed Burning, and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) Title 17 (Smoke Management Guidelines) for Agricultural and Prescribed Burning give burners directions on how to burn properly. Larger burns must use the Smoke Management Permit application form. These larger burns also have permit fees, which are based on the amount of acreage burned or stacked/ piled material burned. The fee schedule is as follows:
Description of Material
For over 10 acres and up to 100 acres of standing vegetation or more than 100 tons and up to 500 tons of stacked or piled material
For over 100 acres and up to 250 acres of standing vegetation or over 500 tons and up to 1,000 tons of stacked or piled material
More than 250 acres of standing vegetation or more than 1,000 tons of stacked or piled material
Developmental Burning is Prohibited
Developmental burning is defined as the burning of vegetation, tree stumps, and other green waste grown on a property being developed for commercial or residential uses; developmental burning is prohibited in San Luis Obispo County.
Burning of Household Waste is Prohibited
The burning of household or residential waste and burning in burn barrels is prohibited in San Luis Obispo County. Burning of products containing the following material is never allowed:
RUBBER - tires, fabric, sponge, etc.
PLASTIC - 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.