When can you burn outdoors? Find out when you can burn leaves, campfires, and more.
The City of Albuquerque regulates open outdoor burning in order to limit pollution. Why is open burning regulated?
If you are an Albuquerque resident, you must follow the following procedures before burning outdoors.
Check Today's Status
- First, check whether there's a health risk by calling the Air Quality hotline at (505) 768-2876 or checking the no-burn status online. If the Air Quality Division states today is Red, then no burning is allowed.
- Then, check whether there's a safety risk by calling the Fire Department hotline at (505) 468-7200. NOTE: This recording says it’s for the County, which includes the City of Albuquerque.
- Before you drop the match, notify your local fire station. You don’t want the fire department responding to the smoke from your fire when there’s a real emergency somewhere else!
If either one of these authorities say it's NOT okay to burn, you may not burn.
Summary: Before You Burn
- Call (505) 768-2876 or check today's burn status. If burning isn’t allowed in fireplaces, open burning isn’t allowed either.
- Call (505) 468-7200. This recording says it’s for the County. It also applies to the City.
- Call your local fire station.
- Tell the fire station your plan and inquire about safety codes and any permits that might be needed from the Fire Dept/Fire Marshal’s Office.
- Heed the time restrictions and fire department safety codes.
Burn During These Hours
If there are no restrictions by the Fire Department or Air Quality Department, regular open burn hours are:
- October 1 - March 31: Open burn hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- April 1 - September 30: Open burn hours are 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There are no time restrictions on bonfires or cooking but you still must make sure it's safe to burn that day.
NOTE: At any time the Fire Department can request that you end your burning activities.
Limit the Amount
- Dead and dry weed removal must be limited to 10 acres per day.
- Piled vegetative material must be limited to 1000 cubic feet per day.
Burning more than 10 acres or 1000 cubic feet per day triggers the smoke management/prescribed burning part of the open burning regulation and requires a prescribed burning permit. Due to the paperwork involved and special requirements, prescribed burning permits are generally the province of the Forest Service and other land management agencies.
For residents of unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County:
Permits are not required for small cooking fires or burning of dry tumbleweeds in piles no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet. Burning anything else requires a permit from the Bernalillo County Fire Marshal’s Office.
You do not need an air quality permit to burn the following:
- Piles of vegetative material (such as leaves)
NOTE: Research and development activities, explosives, fire fighter/rescue training, forest management, etc require a permit from the Air Quality Division.
NOTE: Open burning of trash and junk is always prohibited.
Environmentally poor burning substances produce dense, noxious, and/or toxic fumes and smoke and must not be burned. Environmentally poor burning substances include but are not limited to:
- refuse or rubbish
- animal waste
- waste oil
- liquid or gelatinous hydrocarbons
- paints and solvents
- chemically treated wood
- plastic or rubber
- compact discs and other electronic media
- hazardous or toxic substances
- interiors of wrecked vehicle bodies