summary of Taos County Open Burn Policy - See
Ordinance 2018-3 for details
• It shall be unlawful to burn rubber, plastics, synthetics, or
• It shall be unlawful to burn refuse, garbage, solid waste, or
debris, whether indoors or outdoors, in barrels or by other open fires.
Including fireplaces, stoves or other containers.
• It shall be unlawful to leave any fire unattended by any person.
• It shall be unlawful to allow fire to escape or spread from
the control of the person setting such fire or having charge thereof.
• It shall be unlawful to to dispose of hot ashes in any manner.
Permissible, so long as the burn does not violate any burn restrictions
and is conducted in a safe manner and does not create a fire hazard:
• Barbeque or cooking fires (including wood, charcoal, propane
or natural gas.)
• Fireplace or woodstove fires.
• Fires for branding cattle.
• Fires for warming (small wood fires in containers at homes or
• Fires ignited by fire personnel in the official discharge of
their duties or for training purposes.
• Welding and heating processes involving torches and space heaters.
• Recreational fires that are no larger than 3 feet in diameter
and have no more than a 3 foot flame length.
Open Burning Requiring a Permit:
• Burning of grass, weeds, brush and other ground cover.
• Burning of piles of slash, trimmings, or other natural vegetative
• Burning of scrap wood (clean wood only, no wood with chemical
• Prescribed fires for game or forest management purposes.
• Burning for recreational and/or ceremonial purposes in appropriate
site and/or containers.
• Recreational fires that are larger than 3 feet in diameter and
have more than a 3 foot flame length.
Permits within Rio Fernando Fire District may be applied for
with RFFD (firstname.lastname@example.org or 751-1608) or the Taos County Administrative
Fire Chief. Permits must be applied for a minimum of 48 hours prior
to the scheduled burn.
• All fires must be attended at all times. No burns shall be conducted
without the presence of the Permittee. The Burn Permit shall be kept
on the Permittee’s person at the burn site.
• A water source such as a 5-gallon bucket filled with water and/or
garden hose and a hand tool such as a shovel or rake or 5-pound fire
extinguisher shall be readily available at the time of ignition and
throughout the burn.
• Permittees shall not burn any material within 300 feet of any
residence or in the vicinity of any structure, vehicle, fuel tank, live
vegetation, electrical wires, or watercourses.
• All burning must start no earlier than 30 minutes after sunrise
and all burns must be extinguished 30 minutes prior to sunset.
• The burn shall be conducted in such a way as to avoid smoke
obscuring visibility on nearby public roads and avoids interference
with the health of nearby residents.
• If local weather or fuel conditions create an unacceptably high
risk of an escape as judged by RFFD or Taos County Fire Chief, the ignition
or burn must be halted.