Berthoud Fire wants to ensure that open burns and recreational fires are conducted safely in our community and by our community members.
Community members should be aware of the following:
- Burning is prohibited during burn bans, red flag days, or when current or predicted winds are 10 mph or higher.
- A burn permit may be required. Prior to burning, always check with the county you reside in to determine if a burn permit is required.
- The following materials are prohibited to burn:
- Routine yard and garden clean-up such as grass clippings, leaves, yard waste, and old plants
- Construction debris, fencing, and furniture
- Structures, except for fire department training
- Household garbage both indoors and outdoors
- Commercial/business waste
- Any material that produces excessive smoke such as rubber, plastics, paper, and cardboard
- Treated wood or any hazardous material
- Stumps for branches greater than 6 inches in diameter
Below we have provided additional information on how to conduct legal burns and safely enjoy recreational fires when allowed.
Recreational Burning & Outdoor Fire Pits
Generally, permits are not required for outdoor recreational burning at one- and two-family homes only when contained within a manufactured, portable outdoor fire pit; outside fireplace; permanent fire pit; or a chiminea; however, please be sure to follow the requirements outlined below.
- Fire Pits and Portable Fire Places
Outdoor recreational burning is allowed at one- and two-family homes only when contained within a manufactured, portable outdoor fire pit; outside fireplace; permanent fire pit; or a chiminea (see photos). All wood-burning appliances must include a screen or spark arrestor design feature and may not exceed three feet in diamater. A permit is not required to operate these devices.
Outdoor Fire Pits and Fireplaces must:1. Have solid, above ground/grade containment around the entire perimeter (i.e., the guard or border around the pit must be enclosed).
2. Be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished.
3. Have extinguishing equipment available (e.g., hose, fire extinguisher, etc.).
4. Use clean, dry wood. No house or yard waste.
5. Be located a minimum of 15 ft. from structures and combustibles.
6. Use a fuel area/wood pile that is less than 3 ft. wide and 2 ft. high.
Note: The burning of wood or other solid fuel at commercial or multifamily occupancies is not allowed. Gas or liquid fuel must be used.
Burning is prohibited during burn bans, red flag days, or when current or predicted winds are 10 mph or higher.
- BBQ Grills & Open Flame Cooking Devices
Open Flame Cooking Devices
Charcoal and liquid propane gas grills, barbecues, smokers (including pellet smokers), and similar appliances are considered open flame cooking devices.
Open flame cooking devices are not allowed to be used on balconies or within 15 feet of combustible construction. With the following exceptions:
1. One- and two-family dwellings (including townhomes).
2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system.
3. Liquid propane gas cooking devices having a container not greater than 2.5 pounds in capacity. These include small camping size cooking device.
Outdoor cooking devices cannot be located where they will block exit ways; including balconies, porches, patios or walkways.
Propane cylinders larger than 2.5 pounds may not be stored in or transported through multifamily occupancies.
Electric Cooking Devices
Outdoor electric cooking devices may be operated on balconies or patios provided the cooking device is directly connected to an outside approved type electrical outlet and used per manufacturer’s instructions.
Burn permits are issued by the specific County, not through Berthoud Fire. Each county has their own process for issuing burn permits.
To obtain more information on each County’s open burning and burn permit regulations, please click on the tabs below.
- Boulder County
Before you burn, a permit from Boulder County must be obtained. You can do this several ways, the easiest being their website.
Boulder County allows citizens to burn the following on their property with a permit:
A slash pile is made up of vegetative material that has been concentrated by manual or mechanical means into a pile measuring no more than 6’ wide by 6’ tall.
Often thought of as a “prescribed burn,” broadcast burns are defined as, “the controlled application of fire to wildland fuels in their natural or modified state over a predetermined area.” Broadcast burns are often conducted to reduce wildland fire fuel loads, restore the ecological health of an area, or to clear weeds.
Per Boulder County, Agricultural burns DO NOT require a permit.
- Larimer County
Before you burn, a burn permit is required through Larimer County.
To obtain a permit, visit Larimer County’s website here or contact the Health Department at 970-498-6775.
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.
As part of your permit, it is recommended that digital photos of the material you’re requesting to burn be attached or downloaded onto the application. After you have submitted your request for your permit, the county will then approve/disapprove the request. You will receive an email of this notification letting you know its status. The required authorities here at the fire department also receive the same email and will then review the permit and give the final approval/disapproval.
Prior to burning, always follow all requirements of the burn permit, which includes notifying Dispatch at 970-962-2800 and Berthoud Fire at 970-532-2264 on the day of and immediately before burning. Dispatch must also be contacted upon completion of the burn.
Prohibited MaterialsRoutine yard and garden clean-up waste Structures Construction debris Household garbage Materials that produce excessive smoke (cattails, leaves, plastic, tires, etc.) Commercial/Business waste
Slash burning in the foothills and mountains (elevations 6000 ft and over) MUST take place only with 3 or more inches of snow cover. The open burning season is from October 1 thru May 1, and is ALWAYS dependent upon favorable conditions existing (3 inches+ of snow on ground, light wind, daylight burning only) before ignition can occur. The General 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. Slash is defined as clean dry branches four inches or less in diameter, not containing other smoke producing materials, a slash pile size is ~ 6′ high X 8′ diameter. Applications will not be processed until one week before the start of the open burn period.
A Specialty Burn Permit must be obtained for conducting agricultural ditch burns, bon fires, or other fires containing non-prohibited materials. These are reviewed at the local fire department. Attaching digital photos for review of material types and specific safety guidelines is encouraged and may expedite the permitting process.
Safety GuidelinesPile debris in open areas away from standing timber and structures. Piles should be no larger than 8-10 feet in diameter at the base 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.
Documented permission from the owner of the property or their agent must be acquired.
The above criteria apply to all burns including agricultural burns even though they are exempt from permits.
- Fires must be constantly and physically attended by a competent and non-impaired person having appropriate extinguishing equipment available and ready for immediate use.
- The permit shall be in possession of the person attending the fire at all times during the burn.
- There shall be no burning when current or expected winds exceed 10 miles per hour.
- Items burned shall be 50 feet or more from any structure or combustible fence.
- 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, or any other smoke producing material.
- Burning hours are from sunrise to sundown and apply to all burns whether permitted or not unless the permit establishes otherwise. Fires must be extinguished by dark. Exceptions are cooking, recreational fires, and bonfires.
- Weld County
A burn permit may be required through Weld County before you burn.
For more information on Weld County’s burn regulations and burn permit process, please visit their website: Weld County Burning Regulations
Open Burning Permits may be obtained:
1. Online through Weld County website
2. In person at the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, Environmental Health Services, 1555-N. 17th Avenue, Greeley
Prior to burning, always follow all requirements of the burn permit, which includes notifying Weld County Dispatch at 970-350-9600 and Berthoud Fire at 970-532-2264 on the day of and immediately before burning. Dispatch must also be contacted upon completion of the burn.