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Burning FAQ

Q: Which area and I in? 

A: “Western Nevada County” is the portion of Nevada County west of Donner Summit. The “Truckee Area” is the portion of Nevada County east of Donner Summit. “Sierra County” is the entire County of Sierra. “Quincy Area” is the area defined by the Quincy Fire Protection District outer boundary (“islands” within the outer boundary that are not part of the Quincy Fire Protection District are considered parts of the Quincy Area for burn day status). Burning is prohibited in downtown Quincy and East Quincy. For more information on the Quincy Area, see the special section below. “Plumas County (except Quincy Area)” is all of Plumas County except the area within the boundary of the Quincy Fire Protection District.

Q: How are burn days determined? 

A: The primary responsibility for a Burn Day decision resides with 2 agencies: the California Air Resources Board and CalFire. The local Air District has the final say on the burn day status, but considers input from all relevant sources and agencies and will defer to the agency that calls for a No Burn Day. The primary factors considered in a decision are fire danger, air quality and atmospheric dispersion characteristics.

Q: Where can I get a residential burn permit? 

A: Online Burn Permits are now available. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has transitioned to online residential burn permits for residents living within the state responsibility area of Nevada county. The online application will provide a convenient method for obtaining a burn permit for residents within these counties. Applicants can access the website at, watch the mandatory video which reviews burning requirements and safety tips, then fill in the required fields, submit the form and a door-yard burn permit will be created. The applicant must then print the permit and then sign it. Permits are valid for the calendar year in which they are issued and must be reissued annually on or after January 1st of each year.

If you live in eastern Nevada County call the Truckee Fire Department at (530) 582-7850 for info on obtaining a burn permit. If you live in Sierra or Plumas county either contact the Northern Air District Office or the local fire agency.  Most US Forest Service offices in Plumas County issue burn permits.

Q: How many days are no burn days in a year? 
Q: Why do we have no burn days? 

Quincy Area Burn Restrictions

Q: Why can't I burn if I live in the Quincy area? 

A: In 1991, when the air quality in the American Valley was very poor during the winter months, the Air District adopted Rule 318. This rule established burning restrictions within the outer boundary of the Quincy Fire Protection District. Since the adoption of Rule 318, the air quality in the American Valley has improved dramatically, primarily because of Rule 318 and a woodstove replacement regulation adopted by the Plumas County Board of Supervisors.

Rule 318
Q: Do I live within the area regulated by Rule 318? 

A: There are a couple of easy ways to figure that out. You can use our Quincy Seasonal Burn Area map by clicking here. Or, if you live near the edges of the shaded regions and you are not sure if you live within the regulated area, then check your address against this street index. If your address is one of the addresses listed on this index, then you are covered by Rule 318 and burning restrictions shall apply.

Street Index
Q: What does Rule 318 say? 

A: Rule 318 prohibits all residential open burning in Quincy and East Quincy every day, throughout the year. However, if you live in the “green area” (see the back side of the map) then Rule 318 prohibits all residential open burning between November 15 and March 15 of each year.

Q: Are there any exemptions to this rule? 

A: There are two exemptions. The first is an exemption for agricultural burns. All agricultural burns require a permit issued by the Air District. To see if you qualify for that exemption, please call the Air District at 274-9360 or 832-0102. The second exemption is somewhat irregular. Rule 318 allows for at least 15 days of burning before the November 15 cutoff. If for some reason there are not 15 burn days before the cutoff, then the cutoff date is extended until such time as 15 burn days are realized. The only way to know if that exemption is in place is to call the burn recorder at 283-3602 or check the burn day status on this web site.

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