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Open Burning

Backyard Burn Season: December 1, 2023 - April 30, 2024


Santa Cruz County

All Backyard Burn locations within the CAL FIRE - Santa Cruz County Fire jurisdiction will need to obtain a Backyard Open Burn Permit from MBARD.

Open burn locations within Santa Cruz County, within a Local Responsibility Area or within a fire district that does not issue burn permits will also need a permit from MBARD.  Additionally, Backyard Open Burn locations within the San Lorenzo Valley will need a Daily Burn Authorization from MBARD which can be found by clicking the link provided in your Burn Permit Approval Email. 

Santa Cruz CAL FIRE CZU News Release and Pile Burning Guidelines


Monterey and San Benito Counties

For open burnng in the Monterey County and San Benito County, use the CAL FIRE Burn Permit Responsibility Area Viewer below or click here to determine the Burn Permit Respnsibility Area of your burn location. Enter the address of your Backyard Burn Location in the search bar and read the associated information provided.




Smoke management is the use of techniques such as meteorology, fuel moisture, fuel loading, fire suppression and other burn methods to minimize the smoke impacts from fires. Accordingly, the purpose of the MBARD's Smoke Management Program is to minimize the air quality impacts of open burning.

Backyard burning is the burning of green waste material by occupants of single- or two-family dwellings.  Backyard burn season is December 1 through April 30.

      BROCHURE: Backyard Burning of Dry Vegetation in San Lorenzo Valley

      BROCHUREBackyard Burning of Dry Vegetation in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa CruZ Counties (excluding San Lorenzo Valley)

Agricultural burning is used in the growing of crops, the raising of fowl, animals, or bees as a gainful occupation.

Click HERE to submit an Agricultural Burn Permit Application.

Prescribed burning is the use of broadcast or pile burns for the purposes of managing wildlands, range improvement, or improving wildlife habitat.

Development burns are for disposing of dry vegetation grown on a property being developed for commercial or residential purposes. Please contact the MBARD office to apply for a Development Burn Permit.



CAL FIRE Burn Permits

Backyard Burn Permit Online Application

Daily Burn Authorization Online Application

Agricultural Burn Permit Online Application

Prescribed Burn Permit Online Application (For Support or Assistance: Irene Miranda 831-718-8021


Applicable Rules and Regulations:

Rule 438Title 17: Smoke Management Guidelines for Agricultural and Prescribed BurningSanta Cruz County Guidelines for Pile Burning


Burn Type Information

What are the Different Types of Burns?Trash Burning BanWarming Fires Guidelines


Health Effects of Smoke

How Smoke Can Affect Your HealthVisibility and Particle Concentration


Recent Press Releases

BEU CAL FIRE Burn Permit Suspenion Lifted 12-7-2022BEU CAL FIRE Burn Permit Suspension 1-13-2021.pdfSanta Cruz County Burn Ban Lifted.pdfMonterey and San Benito Counties Burn Ban Lifted.pdf


For more information please contact: