Open burning season comes to western Nevada County with a number of rules |

Open burning season comes to western Nevada County with a number of rules

Submitted to The Union

Residential open burning season has begun. Here are rules and considerations.

  • Burn only on a permissive burn day. No-burn days may be called due to either a poor smoke dispersion forecast or wildfire danger. The burn day status for smoke dispersion is based on criteria in CCR Title 17. To see if it is a burn day, visit the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District website at or call the phone number for your area to see if outdoor burning is allowed.
  • Western Nevada County (west of Donner Pass): 530-274-7928; Truckee Area: 530-582-1027; Western Sierra County: 530-289-3662; Eastern Sierra County: 530-994-3561.
  •  Burn only natural vegetation — no plywood, no painted or treated wood, no plastic, no paper or cardboard, no waste oil, no insulation, no carpet, no diapers, no garbage.
  • In western Nevada County, piles cannot be mainly leaves and pine needles. There should be enough woody material to sustain flames and burn hot and clean.
  • Recommended burn hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for best smoke dispersion.
  • Burning is only allowed on the property where the vegetation grew. It may not be transported to another location for burning.
  • Burning shall be mitigated or extinguished when smoke drifts into a populated area.
  • Arrange burn piles loosely to allow air to move through the pile, creating little to no smoke.
  • Allow at least three weeks of drying time from the date of cutting to burning. Allow at least six weeks if the branch diameter is greater than six inches. Do not burn stumps in place.
  • Obtain a Burn Permit from a fire agency when they are required (when you check the burn day status, the message will indicate if permits are needed). Know and follow all conditions on the permit.

An Air Pollution Permit issued by the Air District is required for any non-residential open burning. Examples of non-residential burning include burning for a timber harvest, development project, range improvement, wildland vegetation management, agricultural operation, right-of-way maintenance and burn projects greater than one acre. Residential open burning is only for the maintenance of a single- or two-family residential property.

For tips on burning, visit:

Consider alternatives to burning

  • Chip or grind waste vegetation and use it for mulch, compost or erosion control.
  • Haul vegetation to a designated green waste disposal site or transfer station.

Contact the Nevada County Fire Safe Council Chipping Program at 530-272-1122. Call Waste Management at 530-274-3090 to sign up for curbside green waste pick-up.

Source: Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District

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