General Open Burn Permit

photo of burning slash pile

Most outdoor burning in Larimer County requires a permit signed by both your local fire department and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. The fire department evaluates applications for potential fire safety issues, while the health department evaluates air quality issues that can impact human health. Open burning in Larimer County is regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment/Air Pollution Control Division under Colorado Air Quality Control Commission's Regulation One and Regulation Nine. Open burning without a permit is illegal and can result in fines of up to $10,000 per day.

This website gives specific information about open burning in Larimer County and allows an applicant to fill out an on-line permit application and submit them electronically. Additionally, it is recommended that digital photos of the material you're requesting to burn be attached or downloaded onto the application (photos may preclude a site inspection and release the permit to you sooner). PLEASE review the following three sections which apply to ALL burn permits issued:

Documents to review prior to applying

Prohibited Materials

  • Routine yard and garden clean-up waste
  • Structures
  • Construction debris
  • Household garbage
  • Materials that produce excessive smoke (cattails, plastic, etc.)
  • Commercial/Business waste
  • Stumps

Safety Guidelines

  • Pile debris in open areas away from standing timber and structures.
  • Piles should be no larger than 8 feet wide and 6 feet high.
  • There must be a minimum of 3 inches of snow cover around piles.
  • There shall be no burning when current or expected winds exceed 10 miles per hour.
  • Fires must be constantly attended by a competent and non-impaired person.
  • Always have water, a rake, and a shovel available.
  • Attend all fires until completely out.
  • All burning must be extinguished by nightfall.

Apply for Burn Permit ** Please be advised that burn permits in Poudre Fire Authority jurisdiction (Ft. Collins urban area) must be obtained through the PFA office or at - pfafireprevention.org/permits

All residents in areas of Larimer County must obtain a General Open Burn Permit to burn clean, dry wood debris through the Larimer County Department of Health & Environment. The open burn period 'season' is from October 1 thru May 1, and is ALWAYS dependent upon favorable conditions existing (3 inches+ of snow on ground, light wind, daylight burning only) before ignition can occur. The General Open Burn Permit is typically used for wildfire mitigation or land stewardship efforts by mountain landowners and has a limit of 50 slash piles or less per year. Slash is defined as clean dry branches four inches or less in diameter, not containing other smoke producing materials, a slash pile size is ~ 6' high X 10' diameter. Applications will not be processed until one week before the start of the open burn period.

A Specialty Burn Permit must be obtained for conducting agricultural ditch burns, bon fires, or other fires containing non-prohibited materials. These are reviewed at the local fire department. Attaching digital photos for review of material types and specific safety guidelines is encouraged and may expedite the permitting process.

You can apply for a General Open Burn Permit using one of the three methods below:

Fill out the online application form.

The online application will be routed electronically and you will receive an email notice regarding the status of your application and your final General Open Burn Permit.

New application

Renew/Extend previous permit
  Print the Burn Application Form, fill it out, mail it to:

Larimer County Department of Health and Environment
1525 Blue Spruce Dr.
Fort Collins, CO 80524

  Contact the Department of Health and Environment at 1525 Blue Spruce Dr., Fort Collins, 80524, and fill out the application there. You may also contact us by phone at (970) 498-6775.

Additional Information

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