Air Pollution Burn Permits
The Mariposa Air Pollution Control District (APCD) regulates and monitors both residential and commercial burning, as well as burning on public lands within the county.
You need an APCD burn permit if you are:
- Burning material that originated outside the 100' Defensible space from your home that CAL FIRE requires you to clear. Still not sure if you need one? Check this burn permit diagram (PDF).
- A commercial business
- Clearing land for development
- A public agency clearing vegetation to maintain roads or ditches
All burning must take place on permissive burn days. For burn day information, call the Mariposa County Burn Day Information Line at 209-966-1200 or 888-440-2876. Burn days are determined by meteorologists from the California Air Resources Board . If your burn pile has large stumps and will not be fully consumed in one day, please call the Mariposa County APCD prior to ignition at 209-966-2220, 888-777-0377 or check PFIRS to find out if the next 48 hours are projected to be burn days PRIOR TO IGNITION.
Fee schedule (PDF) Residential burning fee: $25.00 per burn season
What Can Be Burned
- Clean, dry vegetation can be burned. Burning dry vegetation creates less smoke.
- Only light what will burn in 12 hours or less. Smoldering fires often are a nuisance to your neighbors.
- Burning vegetation that has been transported from one property to another is not allowed.
- CAL FIRE (Website) requires your pile size to be 4 feet or less in diameter when CAL FIRE permits are required.
What Cannot Be Burned
- Burn barrels are prohibited.
- Household garbage such as cans, glass, diapers, furniture, plastics, rubber, tires, tar paper, asphalt shingles, demolition debris, and construction materials (such as treated lumber insulation, paints, coatings, and metal) cannot be burned. When burned, these things can produce toxins that create health problems. The Hidden Hazards of Backyard Burning (PDF)
- Burning leaves and pine needles is also discouraged due to the excessive smoke that is generated.
Burn with Less Smoke
In order to reduce the amount of smoke when burning, you should burn between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when smoke dispersion conditions are best. Be sure your vegetation is clean and dry. Cover it with a tarp to keep out rain. Required vegetation drying times are as follows:
|Type of Vegetation||Drying Time|
|Green straw and grasses||3 days|
|Tree’s, limbs and branches less than 6 inches in diameter||3 - 6 weeks|
|Tree’s, limbs and branches greater than 6 inches in diameter||6 weeks or more|
Fires containing dry leaves and pine needles should be actively managed by repeatedly stirring the pile to allow for better oxygen circulation and less smoke.
Alternatives to Burning
Vegetation can be disposed of in many ways other than burning. Please consider the following suggestions:
- Use anything greater than 4 inches for firewood.
- Compost your leaves and use them in your garden.
- Chip or shred vegetation and let nature do the rest. Chipped or shredded vegetation can also be used as mulch for plants to help hold moisture in the soil or prevent erosion.