Why you need them and how to get them.

Burn Permit Update

Beginning June 17, 2024, all burn permits are suspended for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Butte County due to hotter, drier conditions in the region.

This suspension bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves. Residents are encouraged to continue preparing their home for wildfire by creating defensible space and home hardening.

Butte County lays claim to a lot of beautiful, and unfortunately burnable, nature. Property owners can find themselves with quite a bit of combustible yard debris over the course of a year—posing a significant fire risk if it isn’t managed.

To help eliminate such hazards, the State of California allows the open burning of vegetation. Sometimes, however, official documentation of your intention to have an open fire on your property is required; that documentation is called a “burn permit.”

Watch the video below to learn more about burn permits, who needs one, and how to obtain one.

What do “open fire” and “open burning” mean?

In most cases, “open fire” refers to a fire lit for the express purpose of “open burning”—burning excess yard debris outside. But an open fire is really any fire lit on the property outside your home; the term also includes firepits, used for warmth or cooking (which may be prohibited where you live, so check before installing one).

You need a burn permit for open burning

A burn permit is a document stating you’ve obtained permission to have an open fire on your property and that you understand the rules and responsibilities to have that fire. It affirms you have been told it is a safe time of year for such a fire and you are familiar with safe burning practices

Are burn permits required year-round?

It’s always safer to assume you need a burn permit. There are days when CAL FIRE allows open burning without a burn permit within their jurisdiction. However, CAL FIRE is not the only burn permit authority; based on where you live, you need to check locally to see if there are any specific requirements in place for your individual community. Fire conditions are subject to change fairly quickly, so please always err on the side of caution by asking.

Reminder: even if it’s a valid burn day, you could be held responsible if you lose control of your burn if weather conditions aren’t favorable. It’s advisable to check the air quality for conditions before burning: visit bcaqmd.org or call 530-332-9407.

*City of Chico (residential burning always prohibited)

Is there more than one type of burn permit?

Yes. Depending on where you live, there are different types of burn permits for different types of burn activity. The dates a burn permit is active for will depend on your location. Depending on where you live, burn permits may not be required once fire season ends for the year. Other areas may require burn permits year-round. 

Click here for the most updated burn hours and information by location.

Burn Permit Types by Location

Click the links below to learn more about the different types of burning permits and how to apply for one.

City of Chico

  • Burning is not permitted within the city of Chico; therefore, there are no burn permits.

Town of Paradise

There are two types of burn permits for the Town of Paradise

  • Residential Burning
  • Fuel Reduction

City of Oroville

  • Residential Burning

City of Biggs

Burn permits are required year-round.

City of Gridley

Burn permits are required year-round.

In the unincorporated areas of Butte County (CAL FIRE jurisdiction)

  • Residential Burning: Outdoor burning at a single or two-family dwelling unit or residence.
  • California Campfire Permit: Campfire, portable stove, or another open burning outside an official campground or recreational area.
  • General Burning: Larger scale burning projects performed by a state agency or the agricultural industry for reasons including removing/reducing fire hazards such as downed trees or improving wildlife habitats.
  • Broadcast Burning: Controlled application of fire to a section of land; also called controlled burn or prescribed fire.

No matter where you live, be sure to confirm with Air Quality if it’s a Permissible Burn Day.