“Is it already burn season?”
The short answer is no, but there can be exceptions, starting with the kind of burn.
“Backyard burning is burning of vegetative materials from your property. Agricultural burning is burning field crops or other materials from an agricultural application. Prescribed burning is typically a larger burn of range land…those are typically conducted by Cal Fire,” said Amy Clymo, Engineering and Compliance Manager at Monterey Bay Air Pollution Control District.
Agricultural burn season is year-round, weather permitting. Burn permits are issued for the entire season.
Backyard burn season typically runs from December 1-April 30 and requires a permit issued by a local fire district or the Air Resources District.
Where you live determines which agency issues the permit.
“If you’re unsure, you can always call us, and we can help you figure out whether you get your permit from us or your local fire district,” said Clymo.
Currently, Cal Fire BEU has suspended all burn permits in Monterey and San Benito counties due to the threat of wildfires.
If it doesn’t rain, the start of backyard burn season could be delayed.
“Sometimes, the burn ban is not lifted until January, so we will not allow anyone to do backyard burning until that burn ban has been lifted,” said Clymo.
The ban on burn permits does not include Santa Cruz County, where agricultural burning is permitted. Ag burn applications are available from the Monterey Bay Air Resources District website.
You can also find information on air quality, burn day status, and the location of your local fire district.
The agency will begin accepting online requests for backyard burn permits in late November. For more information, call (831) 647-9411.