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Annual open burn season starts today 

prescribed burn SLO county

–Dec. 6, marks the start of the 2019-20 open burn season in San Luis Obispo County. Cal Fire burn permits are no longer required. The burn season, which typically runs through the end of April, affects the burning of residential yard trimmings in backyards and agricultural wastes. Open burn season normally closes at the end of April when local fire agencies typically predict an increased risk of wildfires from drying brush and grass.

All burning requires a permit from the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD).

Backyard burning may only be conducted by occupants of single-family or duplex dwellings outside urban and village reserve lines in rural areas on a designated “Burn Day.” Agricultural burning may only be conducted by agricultural operations that derive income from the growing of crops or the raising of animals or, vegetation, forest or range management.

APCD Burn Permit Applications are not available at Cal Fire facilities.

A complete list of locations where you may pick up a burn permit application, as well as information about renewing your permit application online, are all available on the APCD website at regulations/burning.php. Mail-in applications & permits are also available at most libraries, selected Community Service District offices, the County Agricultural Commissioner’s and the APCD office.

Open burning releases smoke and air pollution that can be harmful to public health. Residents must exercise caution when conducting burning operations. There is an abundance of dry vegetation accumulated from the drought and from this year’s heavy grass crop. Burning during windy or unsafe conditions frequently results in escaped fires and residents can receive misdemeanor citations and/or be billed for suppression costs.

The following recommendations should be followed for safety:

• Maximum pile size is 4 feet in diameter.
• Clear all flammable material and vegetation within 10 feet of the outer edge of pile.
• Keep a water supply and shovel close to the burning site.
• A responsible adult is required by law to be in attendance until the fire is out.
• No burning shall be undertaken unless weather conditions (particularly wind) are such that burning can be considered safe.
For additional information about regarding safe debris burning visit burning/. Residents are urged to seek alternatives to burning, such as green-waste disposal, chipping and composting.

For information about open burning and the downloadable applications for San Luis Obispo County, go to or contact the Air District’s Compliance Division at (805) 781-5912.

For Burn Day status call 1-800-834-2876.



San Luis Obispo County burn permit suspension lifted 

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at