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Open Burn Regulations and Permit

Burn Permit


Brochure/ Guide

County Burn Ordinance




January 9, 2018

An open burning permit must be obtained by any individual, company or other entity 
prior to conducting open burning activity. The following requirements and 
conditions must be met in order for open burning to occur on private land in 
Gilpin County, Colorado.

NON-EXEMPT BURNS: Permits issued by or on behalf of the Gilpin County 

Sheriff’s Office are required for non-exempt burns. The following conditions 
must be met before an open burn permit is authorized to burn slash piles.


  • Woody materials to be burned include only clean, dry slash (limbs, branches, needles, leaves) less than 6 inches in diameter. Tree stumps, trunks or logs (greater than 6 inches) shall not be included in the slash pile and are not permitted to be burned. 

  • No household trash, construction debris(building materials), lumber, tires, fence post, creosote products or wood products containing hazardous chemicals, etc. shall be burned.

  • Piles shall be constructed so that the maximum size of the pile does not exceed eight feet (8) in diameter and eight (8) feet in height. Piles shall be constructed so that no pile is closer than ten (10) feet to any adjacent standing tree trunk and tree crowns do not hang over the piles. Piles shall be located no closer to each other than twenty (20) feet. Piles should be constructed in openings or clearings whenever possible.

  • Do not place piles over or near tree stumps or adjacent to any large down dead or green logs, as they will burn for an extended period of time and will require additional control. 

  • Piles shall be constructed no closer than fifty (50) feet from any structure. 

  • Do not place piles near or under power lines or utility poles, drainages or waterways.

  • These pile construction requirements shall be closely adhered to; fire department personnel will inspect for pile construction standards prior to authorizing your burn permit. 



  • Pile burning will occur ONLY when there’s a minimum of 4 INCHES of snow cover. 

  • Burning slash during a snow event is encouraged from a smoke management standpoint. It’s good etiquette to not smoke out your neighbor when burning piles; notify those neighbors around you that you are burning. From a public safety standpoint - monitor your smoke when burning near roads.

  • Should temperatures and/or wind conditions develop that cause rapid melting of the snow cover, pile extinguishment shall commence. Do not light more piles than one person can manage safely at any one time. No more than two to three piles per person at one time are recommended.

  • Pile burning may only occur after sunrise. Piles must be fully extinguished before sunset (no visible smoke). No burning will take place between sunset and sunrise.

  • Wind speeds at the time of ignitions must be 10 mph or less. If wind gusts exceed 10 mph for a period of 30 minutes or more, piles will be extinguished and mopped up (no visible smoke). Piles should be visually checked the following day of the burn; all visible smoke/associated heat should be fully extinguished. 

  • No burning is allowed on holidays or holiday weekends, unless pre-authorized by the approving authority.

  • Burns must be attended at all times; permittees shall have at least one hand tool (shovel) readily available on the burn site. There must be a working telephone (fixed or cellular) readily available in case of emergency. Signed (authorized) permits will be in possession of the landowner on site when burning.

  • Permittees will notify the Gilpin County Sherriff’s Office Communications Center (Dispatch) 303-582-5511, when the burn begins and when the burn ends each day. The communications center will notify the respective Fire Protection District via phone or page that the permitted burn is scheduled for that day.

  • When permittee is burning within the Timberline Fire Protection District, the permittee will, (in addition to contacting Gilpin Sheriff Dispatch), notify the District Administrator within 24 hours prior to and upon completion of the burn at 303-582-5768

  • When permittee is burning within Coal Creek Canyon Fire Protection District, the permittee will, (in addition to contacting the Gilpin Sheriff Dispatch) notify the District Administrator within 24 hours prior to and upon completion of the burn at 303-642-3121



  • Contact your respective Gilpin County fire department or the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office for this burn permit application and instructions. 

  • Two permits are needed for non-exempt burns on private land; this County permit (on behalf of the local fire department) and a permit from the State of Colorado. 

  • The state permit can be found at

    • NOTE: If your proposed slash pile burn falls within the Timberline or Coal Creek jurisdictional boundaries in BOULDER COUNTY, you must contact Boulder County Public Health Department for the permitting process; the regulations and permit can be found at:

    • NOTE: If your proposed slash pile burn falls within Coal Creek’s jurisdictional boundaries in JEFFERSON COUNTY, you must contact Jefferson County Public Health for the permitting process; the regulations and permit can be found at http://health.jeffco.us3

  • Fire Department personnel will schedule and conduct an inspection of your burn site. If conditions of this procedural document are met, the authorized fire department person will sign and issue the permit. Permits are valid for one year from the date of signature/authorization.

  • Any governmental agency responsible for fire management or resource management(USFS, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado State Forest Service, etc.) may notify the agency of jurisdiction for an exemption to this permitting process.

  • EXEMPT BURNS: No authorization or permit is required for exempt burns. Agricultural open burning (weeds/ditches), (recreational) camp fires, outdoor fireplaces, wood stoves, outdoor wood-fired boilers and training fires are examples of exempt burns. 

    • Camp Fires: Camp fires can be defined as “recreational fires” in which fires are used for non-commercial cooking of food for human consumption (barbeques), for instructional or religious purposes (bon fires) or for recreational purposes (camp fires on private land). This applies only to the burning of clean, dry wood (no treated wood, trash, etc.).

      • Camp fires must be within an enclosure, constructed of steel or other noncombustible material. Enclosure shall be no larger than three feet (3) (inside) diameter. There must be an area of at least three feet (3) of clearance of combustible materials surrounding the fire enclosure. 

      • Camp fires must be attended at all times. Camp fires will be fully extinguished upon departure from the site. 

      • Camp fires will not be permitted within 25 feet of any structure

      • Camp fires are permitted year round, but NOT allowed during periods of high fire danger, i.e. during fire bans or when fire restrictions are in place in Gilpin County. 

        • Contact the Gilpin County Sherriff’s Office Communications Center (Dispatch) at 303-582-5511, for fire restrictions and/or fire ban information.

      • This applies to camp fires on private property in Gilpin County only; for camp fires within Golden Gate Canyon State Park (303-582-3707) or camp fires on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest (303-541-5500), check with those agencies regarding permitting process, restrictions or bans.

    • Training Fires: Are fires utilized by fire or resource management agencies for training purposes.

    • Agricultural Burns: are defined as the open burning of ground cover vegetation for the purpose of preparing the soil for crop production and livestock grazing, for the clearing of irrigation ditches and fence lines and for controlling noxious weeds for “commercial agricultural operations”. Commercial Agricultural Operations are those operations in which the growing of crops or livestock is a “gainful occupation” such that the income received from the agricultural operation is greater than $500.00 per year. Properties that are “agriculturally zoned” but do not have commercial income greater than $500.00 per year will not be considered “agricultural” and are not exempt from this permitting process.

Gilpin County Sheriff, Gilpin County, Colorado, Sheriff, Office, Timberline Fire
Gilpin County Sheriff, Gilpin County, Colorado, Sheriff, Office, Central City Fire
Gilpin County Sheriff, Gilpin County, Colorado, Sheriff, Office, Coal Creek Fire
Gilpin County Sheriff, Gilpin County, Colorado, Sheriff, Office, USFS, US Forest Service
Gilpin County Sheriff, Gilpin County, Colorado, Sheriff, Office, Colorado Division of Wildlife
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