Outdoor Burning

Weld County is authorized by the State of Colorado Air Pollution Control Division to regulate burn permits and illegal burning complaints within Weld County in accordance with Air Quality Control Commission Regulations, Weld County Code, and Weld County Burn Permit Conditions as they pertain to air quality.

Rules and regulations regarding Open Burning as well as exemptions are listed below. Please review the information below prior to conducting any open burning. It is the responsibility of the property representative (owner/applicant) to be familiar with and follow all state, county, local, and fire protection district regulations and restrictions. In other words, learn before you burn.

Fire Protection Districts oversee matters of fire safety and therefore a fire protection district’s determination regarding fire safety or fire code may supersede the issuance of an Open Burn Permit. Fire Protection Districts must be notified prior to burning and all local regulations and restrictions must be followed.

Please keep in mind open burning is not a primary means of disposal. Please consider all other methods of disposal prior to burning, as the pollutants from open burns may be hazardous and have negative effects to local air quality.

Applications and Forms

Before you apply for an open burn permit, you need to know that:

  1. No person shall conduct any open burning activity, not specifically exempted in the state regulation, without first obtaining an open burning permit. See Common Exemptions under Rules and Regulations.
  2. Open burn permits are valid for two weeks from the date of issuance.
  3. Open burn permits do not relieve the applicant from complying with all relevant federal, state, and local rules and regulations.

Open Burn Permit Application:

  • Paper applications(PDF, 581KB) can be submitted in person at the Weld County Environmental Health office at 1555 N 17th Ave, Greeley, Co 80631 (2nd floor)

Smoke Management Permits

Smoke management permits may be issued for commercial burns (e.g., land development) or those exceeding the open burn permit restrictions. These are not issued by Weld County and must be submitted through the State of Colorado Air Pollution Control Division for review.

To apply for a pile smoke management permit, visit https://cdphe.colorado.gov/apens-and-air-permits/get-a-pile-smoke-permit

Rules and Regulations

“Learn before you burn..." Authority to conduct open burning is ultimately derived from the State. Open burning is further regulated by Weld County, as the authorized issuer of the Open Burn Permit, as well as by fire protection districts, local municipalities, and law enforcement. All relevant regulations, conditions, ordinances, and codes must be followed in order to obtain and use the Open Burn Permit.

State of Colorado Air Pollution Control Division (CDPHE-APCD) Regulations

Weld County Regulations

General Requirements, Restrictions, and Exemptions

Open Burn Permit Restrictions:

  • Non-agricultural commercial properties (i.e., commercially zoned and/ or non-agricultural land use permits) are not eligible for an open burn permit.
  • Only natural wood (i.e., tree trimmings, branches, etc.) and vegetative materials (i.e., leaves, weeds, natural fabrics, clean paper, clean cardboard, etc.) may be burned.
  • Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, commercial waste, clean lumber, pallets, tree stumps, tires, chemicals, plastic, construction debris, and furniture.
  • Total amount to burn during one burn permit shall be less than 1 ton.
  • Pile sizes shall be no larger than 512 cubic feet or 8ft by 8ft by 8ft, and only one pile may burn at a time, OR broadcast burn areas no larger than 10 acres of grass only and 5 acres of other vegetation.
  • Burning in barrels is prohibited.
  • Open burn permits are not valid during periods of publicly announced air pollution emergencies or alerts in the area of the proposed burn.

Open Burn Permit Requirements:

  • Burn must be supervised by individual with the capacity to implement fire suppression.
  • Fire suppression must be readily available at all times during the burn.
  • The local fire protection district shall be notified prior to commencing the burn.
  • This permit does not relieve the applicant from complying with all federal, state, and local (including fire protection district) rules and regulations.
  • All burns shall be out cold prior to sunset.

Common Exemptions:

  • Agricultural open burning. The open burning of cover vegetation for the purpose of preparing the soil for crop production, weed control, maintenance of water conveyance structures related to agricultural operations, and other agricultural cultivation purposes (5 CCR 1001-11 Sec II, Part A).
  • Not all burns on agriculturally zoned land are considered agriculturally exempt burns. For a burn to be considered agriculturally exempt from obtaining an open burning permit, it must fall into one of the following categories:
  1. Irrigation or water conveyance ditch burn.
  2. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) burn.
  3. Burning of vegetative detritus from a reservoir.
  4. Burning of stubble from a commercial annual row crop.
  5. Burning cropland vegetation for weed control.
  6. Burning to dispose of brush to improve forage for livestock on ranches.
  7. Burning of fruit trees, vine prunings, and cull trees in and from an orchard or nursery.
    For more information on the agricultural Open Burning Permit exemption, please refer to the agricultural exemption memo(PDF, 252KB).
  • Fires used for noncommercial cooking of food for human consumption or recreational purposes (i.e., campfire at a private residence).

Fire Protection District and Local Municipality Information

Prior to burning, citizens should always contact their local fire protection district and municipality for up-to-date requirements and restrictions regarding open burning and obtaining an open burn permit. 

Area/City/Town  Fire Protection District Additional Requirements*
All unincorporated Weld County
Refer to FPD map

May depend on FPD; see below and/or
refer to your local FPD (map and contact list

Pierce Ault Pierce FPD None
Brighton (unincorporated Weld only) Greater Brighton FPD Local burn permit required.
Contact Greater Brighton FPD: 303-659-4101
Evans Evans FPD

Local burn permit required.
Contact Evans FPD: 970-339-3920

Fort Lupton Fort Lupton FPD None
Greeley, and Garden City-Western Hills Greeley FPD Local burn permit required.
Contact City of Greeley: 970-350-9510
Gilcrest Platteville-Gilcrest FPD None
Grover Pawnee FPD None
Hudson Hudson FPD None
Windsor-Severance Windsor-Severance FPD Local Burn Permit Required.  Contact
Windsor-Severance FPD: 970-686-9596

*along with State open burn permit, unless exempt

Any area/city not listed above has issued a local ordinance restricting open burning. Please contact your local jurisdiction for more information.

If a local municipality grants a special circumstance (e.g., town event, invasive species removal, etc.) to conduct an open burn (not including exempt burns), a State Open Burn Permit application will need to be submitted to Weld County for review.

Fire Protection District Map Properties can be searched several ways by using the “search by” tools at the top of the page. If searching by address, use only the house number and search through resulting list. If searching by general intersection use Adv. Search. If searching by Weld County Assessor Account number use Data Search.Fire Protection District Contact Information(PDF, 84KB)

Air Quality Advisories and Emergency Restrictions

Open Burn Permits are not valid during periods of publicly announced air pollution emergencies or “Red Flag Days” issued for severe fire weather alerts.

Red Flag Days

Air Quality Advisories

Emergency Restrictions & Burn Bans