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DefinitionsRules & Regulations

Burn day – Each day, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department announces on a recorded phone line whether burning is allowed with a permit. The designation of a burn day applies only to holders of current burn permits. It does not grant permission for any unpermitted burn activity. See Burn Permits & Burn Days. (See official definition under Burn Day in Rule 102.)

 Agricultural burning – open outdoor fires used in any of the following:

  1. Agricultural operations in the growing of crops or raising of fowl or animals, or open outdoor fires used in forest management, range improvement, or the improvement of land for wildlife and game habitat, or disease or pest prevention.
  2. The operation or maintenance of a system for the delivery of water for the purposes specified in subdivision (a).
  3. Wildland vegetation management burning.
    1. For purposes of this subdivision, wildland vegetation management burning is the use of prescribed burning conducted by a public agency, or through a cooperative agreement or contract involving a public agency, to burn land predominantly covered with chaparral, trees, grass, or standing brush.
    2. For purposes of this subdivision, prescribed burning is the planned application and confinement of fire to wildland fuels on lands selected in advance of that application to achieve any of the following objectives:
      1. Prevention of high-intensity wildland fires through reduction of the volume and continuity of wildland fuels.
      2. Watershed management.
      3.  Range improvement.
      4. Vegetation management.
      5. Forest improvement.
      6. Wildlife habitat improvement.
      7. Air quality maintenance.
    3.  The planned application of fire may include natural or accidental ignition.

(Note: this definition is taken from California Health & Safety Code §39011.)

Open outdoor fire –  any combustion of combustible material of any type outdoors in the open, not in any enclosure, where the products of combustion are not directed through a flue. (This definition is taken from California Health & Safety Code §39044.)

Open burning in agricultural operations – in the growing of crops or raising of fowl or animals:

  1. The burning in the open of materials produced wholly from operations in the growing and harvesting of crops or raising of fowl or animals for the primary purpose of making a profit, or I providing livelihood, or conducting agricultural research or instruction by an educational institution; and
  2.  In connection with operations under Subdivision I:
    1. The burning of grass and weeds in or adjacent to fields in cultivation or being prepared for cultivation; and
    2. The burning of material not produced wholly from such operations, but which are intimately related to the growing or harvesting of crops and which are used in the field, such as fertilizer and pesticide sacks or containers, where the sacks or containers are emptied and burned in the field.

(From Rule 102.)

Air Pollution Control District Rules

302 Visible Emissions
303 Nuisance
312 Open Fires
313 Fire set Under Public Authority
401 Agricultural and Prescribed Burning
402 Enforcement
403 Burning Permit for Non-Burning Days: Report Requirements

Note: additional state and federal rules may apply.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Burn Permit Instructions

Santa Barbara City Fire Department

Burning Permit Conditions

California Health & Safety Code

41700 – 41712 – prohibits discharge of certain air contaminants, and governs visible emissions.

41850 – 41866 – allows agricultural burning to be reasonably regulated but not prohibited.

41800-41815 – governs non-agricultural burning of waste

California Code of Regulations

Tit. 17, Section 80210 – California Air Resources Board to designate permissive Burn Days based on meteorological conditions