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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 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 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.

We generally only allow clean, dry slash to be burned; never trash. Certain activities are exempt from needing a burn permit from the health department but are reviewed by local fire protection districts.

To review prior to applying:

Prohibited Materials

  • Routine yard and garden clean-up waste
  • Structures
  • Construction debris
  • Household garbage
  • Materials that produce excessive smoke (cattails, plastic, etc.)
  • Commercial/Business waste
  • Stumps

Burning Regulations

  • Pile debris in open areas away from standing timber and structures.
  • Piles should be no larger than 8 feet wide and 6 feet high.
  • 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.
  • Always have water, a rake, and a shovel available.
  • Attend all fires until completely out.
  • All burning must be extinguished by nightfall.
  • The open burn period season for elevations 6000 ft and over is from October 1 thru May 1.
  • There must be a minimum of 3 inches of snow cover around piles for areas 6,000 feet in elevation or higher.

Things to know

  • The Open Burn Permit is typically 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 permit from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
  • Slash is defined as clean dry branches four inches or less in diameter, not containing other smoke producing materials.
  • A Specialty Burn Permit must be obtained for conducting agricultural ditch burns, weed control, bon fires, or other fires containing non-prohibited materials. These are reviewed by your local fire protection district.
  • 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. See 

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

Additional Information

Air Quality

Department of Health and Environment - Environmental Health