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Open Burning

Open burning in Yuba and Sutter Counties must be done in accordance with the FRAQMD Regulation II - Open Burning.  This Regulation applies to both Agricultural, Non-Agricultural, and Residential Open Burning.

 If you have any questions on the open burning program please contact Judy Harlow at (530) 634-7659 extension 207 or (530) 701-7462. 

The following open burning informational handouts are available:

AG burn Sutter.pdfAG burn Yuba.pdfAG burn Yuba & Sutter Paper Chemical Sacks.pdfResidential Burn CDF-USFS.pdfResidential Burn.pdf


The Burn Zone Maps for Sutter and Yuba County will be used to communicate burn day status.  The Burn Zone should be listed on all agricultural burn permits.

Map of Sutter County burn zones 1 through 7
Sutter County Burn Zones
May contain: map, diagram, atlas, and plot
Yuba County Burn Zones



Agricultural Open Burning


In order to conduct agricultural open burning, you must first obtain a Burn Permit.  Burn Permits can be obtained from the FRAQMD office.  Once you have a valid Burn Permit you must call FRAQMD at 530-634-7659 ext 201 to obtain the daily Burn Day Status and log the burn.  The daily Burn Day Status is uploaded to this website as a courtesy; however the official status is obtained by phone.

The intensive fall burn season is the short window to time between harvesting the rice fields and the rainy season.  Rice fields with invasive species or disease can get a permit and be placed on a list to burn as part of their Best Management Practices.  The District balances the economic and public health impacts of the program as directed in the Health and Safety Code by the State of California, and authorizes Agricultural burning when conditions are optimal to minimize public impact from the smoke.

According to Whitney Brimm Deforest, the UC Davis Rice Advisor “Burning helps to reduce the severity of invasive species and diseases for the following rice season. Economic impacts of these pests are high, severely reducing rice yields. There are limited ways that farmers can treat these pests, and burning straw in the fall is one of the few non-chemical options.”

The Sacramento Valley Basinwide Air Pollution Control Council (BCC)  consists of an elected official of, and designated by, the air pollution control district governing board of each district within the Sacramento Valley Air Basin. Click here for a list of BCC Board Members. The BCC is to carry out the following activities pursuant to State law and the California Code of Regulations (reference HSC §41865 and §41866; California Code of Regulations 80100 et. seq.): 

  1. Smoke Management Program
  2. Rice Straw Burning Reduction Act of 1991
  3. Conditional Rice Straw Burning Permit Program for the Sacramento Valley Air Basin
  4. Assist Districts in the Sacramento Valley Air Basin in coordinating all air pollution control activities to ensure that the entire Sacramento Valley Air Basin is, or will be, in compliance with the requirements of State and Federal law


Residential Open Burning

Residential open burning may be allowed depending on the location of the property.  For valley floor locations, residential burn days are Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  For Calfire and USFS jursidictions (Burn Zone 4 Yuba County), and Sutter Butte locations (Burn Zone 7 Sutter County), there are seasonal burn bans that may also be in effect and permits may be required.  To learn more about residential burn permits in the Calfire jursidictions or to obtain a burn permit, visit  Please check the Burn Day Status page to see if the burn ban is in effect.  Refer to the maps above to determine your Burn Zone.


Non-Agricultural Open Burning

Under certain instances like disease prevention, fire training, disposal of Russian Thistle, and other special circumstances a non-agricultural burn permit may be required. Contact the FRAQMD if you have questions on non-agricultural open burning.