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Open Burning Boulder County

Firefighters observing a controlled burn.

Boulder County has revamped the Open Burning program for 2024.



Key points:

  • Anyone conducting an open burn, slash burn, or an agricultural burn in unincorporated Boulder County must use the new Open Burning Portal to register their burn.
  • A new public map will show where all open burns are occurring in unincorporated Boulder County.
  • If you see smoke and are unsure of its source, you can look at the Open Burning Map before calling 911.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has revamped the Open Burning program. This new system features an online Open Burning Portal and an Open Burning Hotline for notifying the county of upcoming burns and burn completion. It also features a publicly available map showing the status of all permitted and registered open burns within unincorporated Boulder County.

Boulder County ordinance requires a permit for slash pile burns or open burns conducted in unincorporated Boulder County. Previously, burn notifications were completed by calling the Boulder County Communications Center. To streamline the process and to allow the dispatch center to focus on emergencies, permits are now managed through the online Open Burning Portal online at:

Additionally, agricultural burns in unincorporated Boulder County will be managed through the online system. Agricultural burns do not require a permit, but to ensure that first responders, the Boulder County Communications Center, and the community understand the source of the smoke, agricultural burns will need to be registered using the Open Burning Portal.

When residents conduct either type of burn in unincorporated Boulder County, the ‘Intent to Burn’ will need to be filed online through the Open Burning Portal within five minutes prior to beginning. To help simplify this process, the Intent to Burn can also be filed by calling the automated Open Burning Hotline at 720-806-4305. The hotline phone number uses simple keypad prompts to walk residents through filing their Intent to Burn. Residents will need to have their burn permit number or the agricultural burn registration number, along with the associated phone number for the permit or registration, available to ensure information is given for the correct burn location. After the burn is completed, residents are required to log their ‘Burn Completion Notice’ in the Open Burning Portal or by calling the Open Burning Hotline.

If you see smoke and are unsure of its source, you can consult the public Open Burning Map before calling 911. The map will display permitted and registered burn locations, active open burns, and burns that have been completed.

Sheriff Curtis Johnson, “These changes to the Opening Burning program have been developed to increase community awareness and safety. They also help reduce the burden on county 911 dispatchers so they can focus on emergencies.”

For more instructions for how to use the Online Burning Portal and Open Burning Hotline, visit: Depending on the size of the open burn, smoke permits might also be required by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Conducting open burns without a permit could result in fines for violating the Boulder County ordinance and Air Quality Regulations. See the Open Burning Portal for additional information.

This system is for the unincorporated Boulder County community. Burns conducted in the incorporated city and town boundaries within Boulder County should refer to their municipality websites and ordinances for guidance on open burns.