Open burning is allowed in limited areas of the City of Reno and in Washoe County in accordance with the Washoe County District Health Department, but only with a permit issued by the Sierra Fire Protection District or the Reno Fire Department. Areas in which open burning are allowed, as defined by the Air Quality Management section of the Health Department fall outside of the air quality district. Generally, those areas are west of Verdi, south of the Mt. Rose Highway, Sun Valley and most other north valleys with the exception of the North Virginia Street corridor northwest of North McCarran and south of Golden Valley.
New permits can be obtained by calling the Reno Fire Department at 328-3659. The Reno Fire Department is also providing online applications at www.cityofreno.com/Index.aspx?page=189 Permits for open burning in the Sierra Fire Protection District can be obtained by calling 849-1108 ext. 5 or by emailing a permit request to SierraFireBurnPermit@WashoeCounty.US .
A site inspection by fire personnel is required for new permits before open burning can take place to make sure burn areas are at least 25 feet from all structures, that burn piles are no larger than three feet in diameter by three feet high, that a cleared space of 10-15 feet wide is in place around the burn area, and that both running water and hand tools are at the burn site.
Burning of household refuse, trash, cardboard, rubber products, tires, plastic, petroleum, construction debris and other non-vegetative materials is prohibited.
Open burning is not allowed on windy days, and is subject to local air quality controls by the Washoe County Health Department. Open burning may commence at 6 a.m., but fires must be extinguished by 2 p.m.
The Sierra Fire Protection District and the Reno Fire Department recommend the following safety procedures for open burning:
• Keep open burns at least 25 feet from structures or brush.
• Create a “firebreak” removing all combustible materials for at least 10-15-feet around the perimeter of the burn area.
• Burn only leaves, limbs, pine needles and other vegetative materials.
• Keep fires small and controllable.
• Maintain a rake, shovel and a connected and charged garden hose at the burn site.
• Never leave an open burn unattended.
• Do not use accelerants such as gasoline or lighter fluid to start burning.
• Keep children away from the burn area.
• Re-check the fire site for smoldering materials that could rekindle 30-60 minutes after extinguishing the burn pile.
The Sierra Fire Protection District and the Reno Fire Department also suggest property owners consider nonburning techniques for vegetation management including composting and chipping vegetation.