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Prescribed Burning Information and Resources

​Prescribed Burning (sometimes called controlled or broadcast burning) is a controlled application of fire to landscape to meet ma​nagement objectives such as:

  • Reduce wildfire hazards
  • Clear downed trees
  • Control plant disease
  •  Improve rangeland and wildlife habitat
  • Restore natural ecosystems

Active Prescribed Burn Projects

Today’s Prescribed Burns - This information is updated on weekdays by 10:00AM. For daily notifications of Prescribed Burns, download the Smoke Spotter App.

Authority for Prescribed Burning

  • The Governor by Executive Order N-05-19 has authorized prescribed fire as a means to reduce wildfire risk.
  • According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), approximately 125,000 acres of wildlands are treated each year in California using prescribed burning, and the rate of treatment is expected to rise as this tool is used more frequently to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
  •  Title 17 of California Code of Regulations  defines and regulates Prescribed Burning.

California Air Districts cannot prohibit prescribed burns, but reasonably regulates these type of burns.  MBARD does not plan or ignites any prescribed burn project.

Types of Prescribed Burn Projects

A wildfire is burning with smoke billowing, and dry hills in the background.
Broadcast Burn with ideal smoke dispersion: smoke going straight up.
A forest floor with smoldering areas and smoke rising among the trees.
Pile Burn, with fire contained completely within the piles.









  • Pile burning
  • Broadcast burning
  • Development burning
  • Fire hazard abatement
  • Forest management
  • Levee, reservoir, and ditch maintenance
  • Range improvement
  • Right-of-way clearing conducted by public entities or utilities
  • Watershed management
  • Wildlife habitat improvement
  • Wildland vegetation management

Smoke Management Program for Prescribed Burning

The goal of MBARD’s Smoke Management Program is to reasonably regulate prescribed burns to limit smoke impacts to the public.

MBARD issues smoke management permits to land managers which include various conditions for conducting a prescribed burn project.  Such conditions could include:

  • Temperature
  • Relative humidity
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Fuel load
  • Fuel suppression
  • Public notification

MBARD does not create or conduct the prescribed burn project plan but will work with land managers toward meeting optimal meteorological conditions for smoke dispersal  prior to burning.

Prescribed burns must only be conducted on permissive burn days.

Panoramic view of a landscape showing smoke from a fire, with hazy sky and a person observing in the foreground.