Do I Need A Permit For This Burn?

This process applies to burns in UNINCORPORATED BOULDER COUNTY ONLY

Burns that REQUIRE a permit:

Slash Pile Burns

A slash pile is made up of vegetative material that has been concentrated by manual or mechanical means into a pile measuring no more than 6’ wide by 6’ tall. Slash piles generally contain the remnants of mitigation projects or simply the forest debris cleaned up from around one’s property. However, there are restrictions on what types of material can be placed in a slash pile. For a list of these materials visit What can I burn?

Broadcast Burns

Often thought of as “prescribed burns,” broadcast burns are defined as, “the controlled application of fire to wildland fuels in their natural or modified state over a predetermined area.” Broadcast burns are often conducted to reduce wildland fire fuel loads, restore the ecological health of an area, or to clear weeds.

Burns that DO NOT REQUIRE a permit:

Agricultural Burns

The open burning of ground cover vegetation for the purpose of preparing the soil for crop production and livestock grazing, for the clearing of irrigation ditches and fence lines, and for controlling noxious weeds for “Commercial Agricultural Operations.”

Commercial Agricultural Operations are those operations in which the growing of crops or livestock is a gainful occupation such that the income received from the agricultural operation is greater than $500 per year. The burning of tree trimmings from commercial orchards for disease control is considered an agricultural burn.

Properties that are zoned “Agricultural District” but do not have commercial income in excess of $500 per year are not exempted from the open burning permit process.

Recreational Fires

Fires used for non-commercial cooking of food for human consumption (barbeques, gas stoves, charcoal fires), for instructional or religious purposes (bonfires, sweat lodges) or for recreational purposes (campfires on private lands).

Other Exempted Burns

Tiki torches
Propane grills
Propane lanterns
Fires in a fireplace (indoor or out)
Kerosene heaters

Still confused?

Call (303) 441-4500 if you have questions about a specific burn and whether it requires a permit.

 Related Links


Sheriff's Office

Main: 303-441-4500
Alternate: 303-441-4444
Fax: 303-441-1769
Emergency: 911


Sheriff's Headquarters

5600 Flatiron Parkway
Boulder, CO 80301
Map & Directions
Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. M-F