Hazard Reduction Burning

1 877 HAZ BURN (1 877 429 2876)

If there is a threat of a fire escaping control, please contact your local fire protection agency immediately.

Fire Hazard Reduction

Section 4291 of the California Public Resources Code (PRC 4291) requires the removal of vegetation that could transmit fire from the natural growth to a building or structure.  The purpose is to maintain properties within the State Responsibility Area in a fire safe condition by providing a defensible area should a wildfire occur.

Per this regulation, Local Fire Agencies require:

  • The clearance of 100 feet or more of flammable vegetation from around buildings.  On steeper parcels, please consult with your local forestry or fire protection agency on fire safe clearance requirements.  Insurance companies also have authority to require firebreaks and clearances of more than 100 feet.
  • Maintaining 10 to 15 feet of spacing, both vertically and horizontally, between shrubs, large plants, and trees
  • Keeping trees trimmed at least 10 feet from any chimney and trimming all dead limbs hanging over your house or garage
  • Removing all needles and leaves from roofs, eaves, and rain gutters
  • Regular watering and weeding of landscaping to keep it fire safe
  • Consultation with your local forestry or fire protection agency for additional requirements

PRC 4291 DOES NOT REQUIRE that the vegetation be disposed of by open burning.  Therefore, the District strongly encourages the public to first consider the alternatives to open burning, especially if the proposed site is in or near sensitive populated areas.  Please consider these alternatives:

  • Chipping
  • Mulching
  • Composting
  • Recycling

Hazard Reduction Burning

Although open burning is generally prohibited, District Rule 4106 (Prescribed Burning and Hazard Reduction Burning) allows the open burning of flammable vegetation that has been removed and cleared away from buildings or structures in compliance with local ordinances to reduce fire hazard pursuant to PRC 4291.  Hazard Reduction Burning is only permitted in the State Responsibility Area, which does NOT include most areas on the valley floor.  Such burns must abide by the requirements of District Rule 4106 and the Guidelines for Hazard Reduction Burning, including obtaining a burn permit and observing daily burn declarations.