Outdoor Residential Burning

As of June 1, 2021, CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department has suspended all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Butte County, as well as the unincorporated lands in the Local Responsibility Area of the county. This suspension bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves in all areas except in the City limits of Biggs and Gridley.

Location Current open burning requirements if it is a Permissive Burn Day
Within Chico City limits
  • Burning is always prohibited, regardless of lot size.
Unincorporated areas within Chico Sphere of Influence
  • Burning is not currently allowed.
Town of Paradise
  • Within the Town of Paradise, burning is not currently allowed.
Magalia / Upper Ridge
(January through June)
  • Burning is not currently allowed.
Within Oroville City limits
  • Burning is not currently allowed.
Within Biggs & Gridley City limits
  • CAL FIRE burn permits are required year-round. Within the city limits, residents can burn all year on permissive burn days. Residents outside of city limits must follow rules of the unincorporated areas of Butte County.
  • May 1st through Oct 31st, burn hours are 06:00 am – 11:00 am.
All other areas of Butte County
  • Burning is not currently allowed.

General Requirements for All Residential and Fire Hazard Reduction Burning

 Before burning in Butte County, you MUST check the burn day status on the day that you are burning by calling 530-332-9407 (toll free: 855-332-9407) or by going to www.bcaqmd.org.

  • When CAL FIRE burn permits are required (in some areas they’re required year-round, see above) you may burn only on a permissive burn day with a valid burn permit.  Follow all of the requirements in the burn permit.
  • Burn hours apply in all areas of Butte County. See the table above for specific areas.
  • Vegetation must be dry and free of dirt.
  • After pruning/cutting, allow vegetation to dry for at least 15 days if under 6 inches in diameter, 30 days if over 6 inches in diameter.
  • Only natural vegetation grown on the property can be burned.
  • It is illegal to burn any non-vegetative material, including, but not limited to garbage, paper, cardboard, any dimensional lumber, tires, construction materials, plastic, rubber, paint, bedding or furniture.
  • Burn barrels are illegal.
  • Do not burn when your smoke will impact others: you are responsible for your smoke’s impact.
  • Some fire jurisdictions require burn permits (see above). Follow the requirements on your fire agency issued burn permit.
  • The Fire Hazard Reduction Burning Fact Sheet contains information about regulations on open burning conducted at multi-unit dwellings, by commercial entities, and on lots of one acre or greater in size. Available in Spanish here.

Please burn safely!

  • Provide a 10’ area free of flammable materials and vegetation around all burn piles.
  • Have a water source available and an adult in attendance.
  • Pay attention to weather conditions and forecasts.
  • Do not burn on windy days (generally when winds exceed 10mph).
  • Do not leave smoldering fires unattended.
  • Make sure that the fire is dead out when the control burn is completed.
  • More info on preventing wildfires here.
  • More information at CAL FIRE:  Debris Burning/Burning Permit Requirements (when permits are required) and How to Safely Burn Landscape Debris

Additional Requirements for Burning on Lots Less Than One Acre In Size

  • All open burn piles must be located more than 25 feet from any neighbor’s occupied dwelling.
  • The pile size may not exceed 4 feet in diameter. All areas within 10 feet of the burn pile must be clear of vegetation and flammable material.
  • A responsible adult must be in attendance and water must be available until the burn pile is completely extinguished.
  • Burning poison oak is prohibited.
  • The Residential Open Burning Fact Sheet contains information about regulations on residential open burning on lots less than one acre in size. Available in Spanish here.


Alternatives to Burning

Free Chipper Program: The Butte County Fire Safe Council has a free chipping program for Butte County Residents.  For information, please call the Fire Safe Council at 877-0984 or click here: Chipper Program. The Butte County Fire Safe Council is also offering a Residents Assistance Program in preparation for Fire Season.

Waste Management:  Information Online    or    Call (530) 893-4777
Recology:  Information Online    or    Call (530) 533-5868
Northern Recycling and Waste Services: Information Online    or   Call (530) 876-3340

Backyard Composting: Recycle Butte has a Composting Guide along with information on recycling and disposal of many types of materials and waste.

A note from the EPA on backyard recreational fires:

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