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November 25, 2020

Open Burning now Permissible with Approved Burn Permit Beginning December 1

Reno, Nev. November 25, 2020.  Open/pile burning of green waste for residents who reside in the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) will be allowed beginning December 1 until further notice.  In order to reduce smoke sightings by residents which trigger fire response by Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue crews, open burning will be allowed only for the first seven days of the month under three conditions:

  1. With an approved burn permit, when conditions allow.  Previous or past burning permits are no longer valid.
  2. Only if Washoe County Air Quality Division has designated a Green Day as noted here.  
  3. Only if it is a designated permissible burn day by Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District as noted here.

Open burning on properties outside of the Truckee Meadows Hydrographic Basin 87 is limited to parcels 1 acre in size or larger. Parcels inside the Truckee Meadows Hydrographic Basin 87 must be 2 acres in size or larger.  After submitting the application online, users will be immediately approved or denied a burn permit based on their property location and parcel size.

Open burning or pile burns refers to the burning of cut and stacked vegetation, which is a useful method to reduce combustible vegetation, as well as to allow for property maintenance and agricultural activities.  This year, open burning comes on the heels of the Fire District’s 20 days of green waste collection.  Additionally, Waste Management allows extra bags for curbside pickup during November.

Open burning does not include recreational fires. A permit is NOT required from TMFPD for residential recreational or cooking fires. A recreational fire is an outdoor fire where using a fire pit, chimenea, outdoor fireplace, or similar equipment or devices as being intended for cooking, warmth, or other special purposes, and rubbish is not being burned. According to the fire code, recreational fire shall not have a total fuel area greater than 3 feet in diameter and must be 2 feet or less in height. Residents should check their respective homeowner’s association (HOA) requirements on regulations governing recreational fires.

Open burning will be allowed on the first seven days of each month as long as conditions permit and can change at any time.  Residents are responsible for their burn and will held liable if they fail to abide by proper burning procedures and cause a wildfire.  Nevada Revised Statue 474.550 provides that: “Any person, firm, association, or agency which willfully or negligently causes a fire may be charged with the expense incurred in the extinguishing the fire.

In order to burn, ALL residents must file a 2020/2021 Burn Permit with TMFPD.  The automated permit application can be accessed online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Before initiating any open burning, visit the home page of the Fire District’s website at www.tmfpd.us to determine whether or not it is a permissible burn day.  If a red flag appears on the District’s homepage, burning will not be allowed under any circumstances.  It is also important to know the burn code administered by Washoe County Air Quality Management Division.

Residents must be aware of rules and regulations to burn (helpful video here) in the Truckee Meadows to include:

  • Burn hours are sunrise to 2:00 p.m. However, this could alter due to an unexpected change of wind and weather.
  • Never burn when winds exceed 10 miles per hour.
  • The edge of the fire must be a minimum of 50 ft. from any structure and the pile must be limited in size to 4 ft. wide, 6 ft. high.    
    • Burning can occur with a minimum of 25 ft. from any structure; however, the pile must be limited in size to 3 ft. wide, 2 ft. high.
  • Keep water or a fire extinguisher close by, along with hand tools to bury the fire when complete.


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Our Mission: “Committed to excellence, service, and the protection of life and property in our community.”