Smoke from outdoor burning contributes to our region's air pollution and can be harmful to the health of our residents. The burning of certain materials can result in toxic particulates and by-products that are dangerous to breathe. To protect public health and our region's air quality, outdoor burning in Sacramento is limited by a number of regulations.
Outdoor burning includes open burning, recreational burning, agricultural burning and prescribed burning. You can find additional details and information about requirements and exemptions in the sections below. While certain exemptions are found in each rule, it is important to note that there is no exemption from burns that create a public nuisance per SacMetro AQMD Rule 402.
For more information about outdoor burning contact our main line at (916) 874-4800.
Open burning is the outdoor burning of trash, organic waste such as yard and tree clippings and wood or wood construction materials for the purpose of disposal. Open burning is illegal in most parts of Sacramento County, including all cities within county boundaries. Residents living in allowed areas must obtain a residential burn permit from their local fire department or the Sacramento County Agricultural Commission or both. Only material listed in SacMetro AQMD Rule 407 and the California Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) is legal to burn and burning is always prohibited on no burn days. If you do receive a burn permit, you must verify it is a legal agricultural burn day prior to burning by calling the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner's office at (916) 875-6641.
SacMetro AQMD Rule 407 Open Burn
SacMetro AQMD Rule 421 Curtailment of Wood and Solid Fuel Burning, Check Before You Burn
California Code of Regulations (CCR) ATCM for Outdoor Residential Burning
To check the burn day status in Sacramento County (year round): California Air Resources Board Smoke Management Program
Recreational burning includes bonfires and fires used for aesthetic purposes. These burns may occur in open pits, indoor and outdoor wood burning appliances, fireplaces, wood stoves, and cooking appliances. Burning wood or yard waste to dispose of it is considered open burning, not recreational burning, and is regulated by SacMetro AQMD Rule 407 (see section above). For more information about our wintertime restrictions on fireplace and wood stove burning see our webpage Check Before You Burn.
SacMetro AQMD Rule 417 Wood Burning Appliances
SacMetro AQMD Rule 421 Curtailment of Wood and Solid Fuel Burning
To check the burn day status (November - February): Check Before You Burn
Agricultural burning pertains to the burning of agricultural waste material. The agricultural material being burned must come from the same agricultural property it was grown on. You must first obtain an agricultural burn permit from the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner's Office (link). You must verify it is a legal burn day prior to burning by calling (916) 875-6641.
For agricultural burns greater than 10 acres, you must also submit a smoke management plan to the California Air Resources Board through their Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (link).
SacMetro AQMD Rule 501 Agricultural Burning
California Code of Regulations Title 17 Div. 3. Smoke Management Guidelines for Ag and Prescribed Burning
Prescribed burning is conducted by trained personnel to meet specific objectives such as resource management benefits or fire personnel training.