The annual backyard burn season for burning vegetation runs from December 1st through April 30th. Residents of one or two family dwellings (who meet the requirements specified) must obtain a permit for backyard burning at our Administrative Office at 930 17th Avenue in Santa Cruz. Please note: Permits from our office are ONLY for residents of Central Fire Protection District (Capitola, Live Oak, and Soquel). If you are not a resident of our district please refer to you local fire department for information on how to obtain a burn permit for your address.
Burning will be allowed on permissive "burn days" or "marginal burn days" only, as reported by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District. To check the burn status for the day, call the MBUAPCD hotline at 1-800-CAL-BURN (225-2876). The burn status hotline will list separate zones for burn days – all permits issued for the Central Fire District are listed in the “COASTAL” burn zone.
There is a minimum size requirement of at least a ½ acre on residential properties to be considered for backyard burn permits. The minimum clearance requirement around burn piles has increased from 50’ to 100’ to be in compliance with current Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District standards.
Backyard burning that is done without permits or on no-burn days will be subject to fines, where applicable.
For more information on backyard burn requirements, contact the Fire Prevention Division at (831) 479-6843.