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Burning Regulations

NOTICE:  Due to continuing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated threat to people with heart and/or lung disease, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) highly discourages open burning at this time. If burning is absolutely necessary, please be considerate of nearby residents, especially those who may be suffering from cardiac or respiratory ailments. 

Open Burning Permits are issued for the control of the release of air pollutants. They are not permits for violating local ordinances or fire codes. Open burning causes the release of cancer-causing gases, ozone-forming materials, and substances that can degrade health and cause sickness and death. People in Weld County have been killed by the flames, smoke, and heat from the open burning of weeds and trash.

Open Burning Permits are required in Weld County to burn anything other than household paper, cardboard, and agriculturally exempt materials.  

Agricultural open burning is exempt from permitting by Regulation No. 9 (Colorado Air Quality Control Commission).  Some local fire districts, however, require the obtainment of an Open Burning Permit from the district for agriculturally exempt burns. Please call your local fire district for requirements. (The contact list can be found by clicking on the "Fire District Contacts" link at the bottom of the page).  

Agriculturally Exempt Open Burning

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:

  • Irrigation or water conveyance ditch burn
  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) burn
  • Burning of vegetative detritus from a reservoir
  • Burning of stubble from a commercial annual row crop
  • Burning cropland vegetation for weed control
  • Burning to dispose of brush to improve forage for livestock on ranches
  • 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.

Open Burning Permits May Be Issued For:
  • Tree limbs, branches, weeds
  • Burning associated with open-air human cremations, clean natural fiber cloth
  • Ceremonial events or bonfires for athletic events and rallies
  • Training and educational events involving fires, extinguishing fires, and fire safety
Open Burning Permits Will Not Be Issued For:
  • Plastics, tires, plastic tarps, electric wiring, plumbing materials, plastic irrigation pipe and ducts
  • Vehicles, trailers, mobile homes, campers, tents, or parts from these items
  • Houses, barns, animal shelters, sheds, buildings, lean-tos, garages
  • Chemicals of any kind: paint, fuels, polyurethane, thinners, solvents
  • Furniture, coated wood, manufactured wood (laminates, plywood, particle board)
  • Electric wiring, boxes, electronic equipment, or anything with a circuit board
  • Green lumber, leaves, recently cut limbs and logs
  • Any compostable plant material
  • Manure, urine-soaked materials, animal droppings, corral bedding
  • Deceased animals and animal parts, offal
  • Commercially derived materials (wastes from business entities)
  • Burning weeds in agriculturally exempt water conveyance structures (ditches, canals, etc.) (see below)
  • Open field burning on agriculturally zoned land to control weeds or undesirable plants for the purpose of enhancing crop production or improving lands for animal grazing (see below)
Conditions Necessary for Open Burning with a PermitĀ 
  • No burning will be allowed during a period of Air Pollution Emergency or Alert. It is the responsibility of the holder of an Open Burning Permit to know if such an emergency is in effect (e.g. "Red" days).
  • The Open Burning Permit must be retained by the person who is conducting the burning. If needed, it will be available, without delay, for examination by an appropriate official upon request.
  • The permit holder or a representative must remain with the fire while it is burning or hot.
  • The permit is valid for two weeks after the date when it was obtained.
  • Open burning is only allowed two (2) hours after sunrise and two (2) hours before sunset.
  • Open Burning Permits may be canceled if nearby neighbors have indicated fire or smoke are a nuisance, risk, or health problem for them.
  • Open burning will be allowed only when winds are less than 5 mph.
  • Equipment such as rakes, shovels, or forks will be available to provide proper amounts of air for optimal combustion and to limit smoke emissions.
  • Firefighting equipment, such as extinguishers or hose with water supply, must be near for control of an unintentional spread of the blaze.
  • The holder of the permit is required to notify the appropriate fire district of the intention to burn. This is required each day open burning will be conducted. 911 is not to be called. An appropriate administration number for the fire district must be called.


Environmental Health Services

1555 North 17th Avenue 
Greeley, CO 80631
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
Phone: (970) 304-6415
Fax: (970) 304-6411

Dani Serna

Environmental Health Specialist

Phone: (970) 400-2239