Determination of Burn Days in Amador County

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The Amador Air District is a special district whose primary purpose is to protect public health and the environment from adverse air quality impacts. We do this while also considering the need for residents to maintain their property’s defensible space and prevent the risk of wildfire. District staff works hard to strike a balance between the need for residents to burn on their property and the need to protect air quality.

Burn day status is determined by the California Air Resource Board (CARB), not the Amador Air District. During burning season, CARB specifies each day of the year as a permissive burn day or no-burn day for each air basin in California. Amador County is part of the Mountain Counties South Air Basin, which consists of Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa. CARB Meteorologists send a small plane out of Columbia Airport in Tuolumne County early every morning to collect data on atmospheric conditions. CARB meteorologists are looking for air movement sufficient to prevent smoke from outdoor burning settling at low levels and adversely affecting air quality. When a no burn day is declared, per Amador Air District rules, the District must follow the CARB no burn day determination.

Usually, by 3:00 p.m. every day, CARB determines burn day status for each of the state’s air basins. Based on this information District staff updates the Burn Day Information line by 5:00 p.m. for the following day. District staff would like to remind Amador County residents to be aware of the District’s rules related to outdoor burning. Burn only dry, natural vegetation derived from the property of origin, no unauthorized materials may be burned. Burn a hot fire by mixing the materials to ensure air movement into the fire for proper burning. Do not allow fire to smolder and do not allow smoke to impact neighboring residences. For piles 4’ X 4’ and larger, a permit must be obtained from the Amador Air District. All residents must call the District’s burn day information line to confirm it is a permissive burn day (209) 223-6246.

The Amador Air District is aware that conditions may appear to be conducive to outdoor burning in your neighborhood; however, CARB may have designated it a no-burn day. The Amador Air District is required to comply with CARB’s burn day determination and has very little latitude in overriding the burn day decision. Although it may not seem so, typically a vast majority of days during the burn season are designated burn days. Again, District staff works hard to balance the need for outdoor burning with the need for air quality protection. ABOVE ALL, PLEASE REMEMBER TO BE SAFE WHEN BURNING AND NEVER LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED.
CARB BURN Flow Chart