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Sonoma County Gazette
Burn Pile
Starting May 4, 2020, Burning Permits are required for Open Air Burn Piles

Burn Permits Required starting May 4, 2020 in Unincorporated Communities

May 5, 2020


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).

During certain times of the year and in certain parts of the state, residential landscape debris burning of dead vegetation is allowed. However, homeowners should always check with their local fire station or CAL FIRE station, as well as local air quality management agencies  before burning.

Burn permits are required during the dry months, and CAL FIRE will suspend burning altogether during high-risk conditions.

What can be burned?

Dry, natural vegetation, grown on the property can still be burned outdoors in open piles unless prohibited by local ordinances.No household trash or garbage can be burned outdoors at residences. Burning trash, garbage, plastic, and treated lumber is not allowed by localAir Quality Management Districts.

When can you burn?

Burning can only be done on permissive burn days. Burning permits are only valid on“Permissive Burn Days” as determined by the State Air Resources Board or the local air district. To find out if it is a Burn Day, visit theAir Resources Board website to obtain the proper contact for your local air quality district.

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, 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. For more information, contact your local CAL FIRE station or your local Fire Department. 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: Quality/.

California Air District Website Links:

California is divided into 35 air districts, which have primary responsibility for controlling air pollution from stationary sources.

There are two air districts in Sonoma County with separate territory, air pollution control programs, and regulations:

NORTHERN SONOMA COUNTY (707) 433-5911Air Pollution Contol District includes: Annapolis, Bodega, Bdega bay, Camp Meeker, Cazadero, Cloverdale, Duncans Mills, Forestville, Geyserville, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Jenner, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Sea Ranch.

BAY AREA (415) 749-5000 Air Pollution Contol District includes: Bloomfield, Cotati, ElVerano, Fulton, Glen Ellen, Graton, Kenwood, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Valley Ford, Windsor.

IMPORTANT: CAL FIRE Burn Permits are only for within the State Responsibility Area (SRA), or where CAL FIRE has jurisdictional authority. For information and permits required outside the SRA / CAL FIRE jurisdiction, contact your local City/County fire authority.

If the status in your county is marked as "Burning Allowed", you still must confirm that it is a permissive burn day with your local air quality management agency. The contact phone numbers will appear on your permit. Violations Of Any Burning Permit Terms Are A Violation Of State Law (Public Resources Code 4421, 4422, 4423, And 4425).

For more information please visit


May 12, 2020
Thanks for clarifying burn permit info!
- Lyndi Brown

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