When the National Weather Service issues active Red Flag Warnings affecting Larimer County, they will appear here.

{{ a.headline }}

Area: {{ a.areaDesc }}
Description: {{ a.description }}

Event: {{ a.event }} | Severity: {{ a.severity }} | Certainty: {{ a.certainty }} | Urgency: {{ a.urgency }} | Message Type: {{ a.messageType }}
Effective: {{ a.effective | date: 'short' }} | Onset: {{ a.onset | date: 'short' }} | Expires: {{ a.expires | date: 'short' }} | Ends: {{ a.ends | date: 'short' }}

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 reviews applications for possible fire safety issues and the health department reviews air quality issues that can impact human health.

Open burning in Larimer County is regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Air Pollution Control Division (CDPHE-APCD) under Colorado Air Quality Control Commission's (AQCC) Regulation Number 1 and Regulation Number 9. LCDHE is authorized by the CDPHE-APCD to regulate burn permits and illegal burning complaints according to applicable air quality regulations. The Larimer County Ordinance for Open Burning also regulates open burning in unincorporated Larimer County and is enforceable by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office or Local Fire Protection District.

Open burning without a permit is illegal and can result in fines of up to $10,000 per day.

Things to know before applying for a Burn Permit

Anyone conducting an open burning activity in Larimer County must comply with all local, state and federal regulations, conditions and ordinances. It is the property owner and applicant’s responsibility to be familiar with air quality requirements and restrictions for open burning. Burn Permit applicants can review state and local regulations, restrictions, common exemptions and other resources below.

  • An Open Burn Permit is usually used for wildfire mitigation or land stewardship efforts by mountain landowners and has a limit of 50 slash piles or less per year. Greater than 50 piles requires a Smoke Management Permit permit from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
  • Slash is defined as woody material less than six inches in diameter consisting of limbs, branches, and stems that are free of dirt.  “Slash” does not include tree stumps, roots, or any other material.
  • For protection of the health and safety of our community, it is requested that persons intending to conduct any open burn (including agricultural burns, bon fires, non-commercial cooking fires, etc.) notify local agencies by filling out a burn permit application. These applications are reviewed by your local fire protection district or Sheriff’s Office.
  • Fire protection districts may have more specific requirements on open burning in their jurisdictions. Please contact them directly for any specific questions in regards to the open burn.
  • For more definitions and guidelines regarding open burning, review the Open Burn Permit Regulations, Guidelines and Exceptions section below.

You do not always need to burn. Natural woody or vegetative materials can often be mulched, reused or recycled. Please consider alternative disposal methods for approved materials instead of burning:

Additional information about open burning

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division (CDPHE-APCD) Regulations:

Larimer County Requirements:

It is requested that persons intending to conduct agricultural burns, bon fires, non-commercial cooking fires, religious fires, etc. notify local agencies of the intent to burn by filling out a burn permit application. These are reviewed by your local fire protection district or the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. Check with your local fire protection agency for more information.

  • Agricultural Burns
    • The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s (ACQQ) Regulation Number 9- Open Burning, Prescribed Fire, and Permitting defines Agricultural Open Burning as the burning of cover vegetation for the purpose of preparing the soil for crop production, weed control, maintenance of water conveyance structures related to agricultural operations and other agricultural cultivation purposes. 
    • Land zoned as “agricultural” is relevant but does not automatically provide an exemption from open burning permitting.  
    • Examples of Agricultural Open Burning include:
      • Burning of cultivated fields to clear stubble, weeds and waste to prepare for the planting of commercial crops
      • Irrigation or water conveyance ditch burn.
      • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) burn.
      • Burning of vegetative detritus (waste or debris) 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.

More information on the Agricultural Burning Exemption can be referenced in the CDPHE-APCD’s: Agricultural Exemption Memorandum

  • Examples of Open Burning NOT Included in this Agricultural Exemption
    • The open burning of animal parts or carcasses
    • Open burning of household trash, wood and yard debris on agricultural land.
  • Other Burns Exempt from Burn Permits
    • Fires used for noncommercial cooking of food for human consumption, or recreational purposes 
    • Fires used for instructional or training purposes, except instructional or training wildland pile or broadcast fires larger than thresholds outlined in Appendix A of Regulation Number 9. Training or instructional fires must still comply with all applicable laws.
    • Safety flares used to signal danger to the public
  • For burns at elevations of 6000 feet or greater in Larimer County:
    • The open burn season is from October 1 thru May 1.
    • There must be a minimum of 3 inches of snow cover around piles
  • Open Burning is not allowed when a “Red Flag Day” or “Air Quality Action Day” for ozone and/or fine particulates is in effect. See air quality advisory information below.
  • Burning in barrels is not allowed. 
  • Open burn permits are not valid during periods of publicly announced air pollution emergencies or alerts in the area of the proposed burn.
  • Open Burning permits may be issued for broadcast burn areas that are no larger than 10 acres of grass only and 5 acres of other vegetation.
Prohibited Materials:
  • Routine yard and garden clean-up waste
  • Structures
  • Construction debris
  • Household garbage
  • Furniture
  • Materials that produce excessive smoke (cattails, plastic, etc.)
  • Commercial/Business waste
  • Tree stumps
  • Wood pallets
  • Treated wood
  • Tires
  • Animal carcasses
  • Hazardous materials
  • Items to be burned must be free of rubber, tires, plastics, wire insulation, household rubbish or refuse paper, cardboard, furniture, construction debris, fencing, treated wood, grass, leaves, yard waste, animal parts or carcasses, or any other excessive smoke producing material.
  • Clean dry branches shall be six inches or less in diameter (“slash”) and shall not contain other smoke producing materials.
  • Piles should be no larger than 8 feet wide and 6 feet high.
  • Open Burning is not allowed 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 at the burn location.
  • All fires must be attended until they are completely out.
  • All burning must be extinguished by nightfall.
  • Burn piles shall be in open areas away from standing timber and structures.
  • The local fire protection district listed on an approved burn permit shall be notified by the person conducting the burn prior to performing a burn. 

Open Burning is prohibited when a “Red Flag Warning”, “Air Quality Action Day” for ozone and/or fine particulates, or other air pollution emergency is in effect in the area of the proposed burn.

  • Air Quality Action Day
    • An Action Day for fine particulates, carbon monoxide or ozone indicates current air quality is unhealthy or conditions are expected to worsen later in the day or on the next day. 
    • Action Days for air pollutants generally mean air quality will be in the Unhealthy or Unhealthy-for-Sensitive-Groups categories, according to the Air Quality Index. 
    • To view Front Range Air Quality Advisories: Colorado Air Quality Summary
  • Red Flag Warnings, High Wind Warnings and Fire Weather Watch 
  • Burn Restrictions/Bans
  • Colorado Smoke Outlook
    • The focus of Colorado Smoke Outlook is on large fires (greater than 100 acres in size): Colorado Smoke Outlook
  • Smoke Monitor Data and Analysis

Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services: Emergency Services and Fire Rescue | Larimer County

Poudre Fire Authority: Outdoor Fire Pits, Fireplaces, and Burning
Loveland Fire Rescue Authority: Why do I need a "Burn Permit" and how do I get one? 
Berthoud Fire: Open Burning & Burn Permits 
Wellington FPD: Burn Permits 
Estes Valley FPD: Burn Permits 
Glacier View FPD: Glacier View Fire Protection District

Livermore FPD: https://www.livermorefireco.gov/
Lyons FPD: https://lyonsfire.org/
Red Feather Lakes FPD: https://www.rflvfd.org/
Pinewood Springs FPD: https://www.pinewoodspringsfire.org/
Poudre Canyon FPD: https://poudrecanyonfpd.colorado.gov/
Crystal Lakes FPD: https://www.clvfd.org/
Allenspark FPD: https://www.allensparkfire.com/

Apply for a Burn Permit

Application Tips: 

  • Attaching digital photos for review of material types and specific safety guidelines is encouraged and may expedite the permitting process.
  • Please ensure to provide pertinent information such as types of materials to be burned, gate codes, etc. under burn comments in the application. 

Online Application

You will be notified via email the status of your application and will receive an electronic copy of the approved burn permit.

  Apply for a Burn Permit


Come to our office and fill out the form
Larimer County Department of Health and Environment
1525 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Burn Permit Application Status and Active Burns

Agency Logins

Air Quality

Department of Health and Environment - Environmental Health