Elnoka Wildfire 


It is unlawful to burn or cause to be burned within the City any solid waste, yard trimmings, recyclable materials, household hazardous wastes or other hazardous wastes, garbage, debris, or other wastes (SRCC 9-12.050). This includes the burning of any prohibited material, such as household trash, in a residential fireplace or backyard burn barrel.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) also regulates burning activities within the City of Santa Rosa. A complete listing of the BAAQMD Regulations for open burning and other similar activities are available online at http://www.baaqmd.gov/


A valid Fire Department Permit must be obtained prior to conducting any outdoor burning activity (SRCC 18-44.105.8.b.2, CFC 1101.3). The Permit will specify all restrictions for the permitted activity, including the time of day when allowed (CFC 1102.3.4). However, even if a valid Fire Department Permit is obtained, Bay Area Air Quality Management District burning regulations and restrictions must still be followed; these often times prohibit outdoor burning of any kind.


Certain types of outdoor burning activities may be allowed, such as ceremonial fires, recreational camp fires, cooking fires, or agricultural fires, however all of these burning activities require a valid Fire Department Permit be obtained prior to conducting any such activity. Small outdoor ceremonial fires, recreational camp fires and cooking fires (those not larger than three foot diameter and wood fuel no more than two feet high) do not require a permit, but still must comply with the requirements listed below.  

Prior to any permissible burning activity starting, the person responsible for the burning activity is required to notify the Santa Rosa Fire Department Dispatch Center at prior to starting the fire (CFC 1102.3.2).

Open burning shall not be conducted within 50 feet of any structure or other combustible material, including out-building, storage sheds and wooden fences (CFC 1102.3.5).

Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material unless contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread to within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition (CFC 1102.4.2).

A garden hose connected to a water supply or other approved fire extinguishing equipment shall be readily available for use at open burning sites and recreational fires (CFC 1102.3.6, 1102.4.3).

Burning material shall be constantly attended by a person knowledgeable in the use of the fire extinguishing equipment required, and familiar with the permit limitations which restrict open burning and recreational fire. An attendant shall supervise the burning material until the fire has been extinguished (CFC 1102.3.7, 1102.4.4).

The Fire Chief is authorized to require that open burning or recreation fire be immediately discontinued if the Chief determines that smoke emissions are offensive to occupants of surrounding property or if the open burning or recreational fire is determined by the Chief to constitute a hazardous conditions (CFC 1102.3.8, 1102.4.5).