Larimer County Burn Permit

photo of burning slash pile

No burning of flood debris is allowed. The Larimer County Health Department will not issue open burning permits for flood debris. Flood debris does not comply with the requirements of State regulations as it is likely contaminated with other types of debris that are potentially hazardous, contaminated with silt or dirt, or too large to burn without excessive smoke. (State regulations require that wood be clean, dry material).

Most outdoor burning in Larimer County requires a permit signed by both your local fire protection district and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. The fire protection district 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 Ordinance for the Regulation of Open Burning in Unincorporated Larimer County, Colorado and 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 online permit application and submit it electronically. Additionally, it is recommended that digital photos of the material you're requesting to burn be included with 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 such as grass clippings, leaves, yard waste and old plants, hay
  • Structures
  • Construction debris, fencing and furniture
  • Household garbage, both indoors and outdoors
  • Materials that produce excessive smoke (plastic, rubber, paper, etc.)
  • Commercial/Business waste
  • Stumps
  • Treated wood
  • Hazardous materials
  • Animal parts or carcasses

Open Burning Requirements

  • Notification must be made to the applicable Fire Dispatch on the day of and immediately before commencing burning. Persons must notify Fire Dispatch upon completion of the Open Burn.
  • If an Open Burn is to be conducted by someone other than the legal owner of the property, written permission must be obtained from the legal owner or his/her agent and provided as part of the permitting process prior to obtaining the Open Burn permit.
  • Open burns must be conducted 50 feet or more from any structures or combustible fence.
  • Local Fire Districts may have more restrictive codes, regulations , policies or standards. In those cases the more restrictive provisions apply.
  • There must be a minimum of 3 inches of snow cover around piles in areas 6000 feet in elevation or higher.
  • 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. The Open Burn Permit must be in possession of the person attending the open burn at all times.
  • Appropriate extinguishing equipment must be available and ready for immediate use.
  • Attend all fires until completely out.
  • All burning must be extinguished by nightfall.
  • There shall be no Open Burning during State or County authorized fire restrictions or bans.

Apply for Burn Permit

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' for forest slash piles 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 Permits for forest management burns are 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 8' diameter. Applications will not be processed until one week before the start of the open burn period.

A 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 protection district. 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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