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Where can I find permit forms on your website? 

Permit application forms can be found by clicking here.

What does an Air Quality Management District do? 

In California, an Air District's primary responsibility is controlling air pollution from stationary sources. Our District is one of 35 air districts in California and enforces local, state, and federal air quality regulations.

What is an air basin? 

An air basin is an area that has similar meteorological and geographic conditions throughout. California is divided into 15 basins. Our area is part of the North Coast Air Basin, which includes Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties.

What determines a Permissive Burn Day or No Burn Day for open burning? 

Weather conditions must be present to allow the smoke from burning to rise up and out of the breathing zone, and not impact public health. This is why there are days that seem to have perfect conditions for a Permissive Burn Day but have been declared a No Burn Day. Meteorologists in Sacramento make the burn day determination based on specific criteria as listed in the California Health & Safety Code and weather forecasting models. The burn status is made available to the District each day at 3 pm for the next day. The District can then make a more restrictive determination based on local findings and events, like active wildfires.

When do you need a burn permit? 

Anytime you are burning natural vegetation for the purpose of disposal, you need a Burn Permit. In fact, you may need a CAL FIRE Permit or be required to submit a Smoke Management Plan depending on how much you are burning and the time of year. Burn permits are not required for recreational fires (camping, warming, cooking, etc.) or ceremonial fires. Campfires may require permits depending on the time of year and location. You will need to contact the Forest Service, CAL FIRE, or BLM office nearest to your campfire location.

How do I get a burn permit? 

If you have never had a burn permit before, you will need to fill out an application and pay the permit fee. If you have had a permit before you will only need to pay the fee since we have your information on file. To get an application you can either come into our office; download one from our website, print it, and mail it in, or submit an application using our Online Burn Permit Portal. You can also request a burn permit application be mailed to you. To renew your existing burn permit you can come into our office; mail us a check referencing the physical burn site address and/or the barcode number from your permit, or use our Online Burn Permit Portal. To renew using our Online Burn Permit Portal you will need your barcode number and the property owner exactly as we have it listed on your old permit. The online portal is case sensitive and will only allow you to renew if the information you enter is spelled, spaced, and capitalized exactly as we have it on your last permit. If you had a burn permit the previous year, the District will send you a renewal reminder by mail or email when it is time to renew your permit.

Can I call and renew my burn permit over the phone? 

The District would like for you to use our Online Burn Permit Portal to renew your permit instead of renewing it over the phone. This gives you an opportunity to review the application information we have on file and make any updates needed. If you run into difficulty, one of our staff members can help walk you through the process.

Why can't I have a burn barrel? Why can other people have a burn barrel? 

Burn barrels were banned in California in 2002 and all residential waste burning (the primary use of burn barrels) was banned for the entire state in 2004. However, certain areas are granted an exemption from the burn barrel ban by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) because they lack access to waste disposal/recycling and live in an area with less than 10 people per square mile. If you live in one of these areas it will be noted on your burn permit and is listed on our website. The list of exempted areas is updated every 10 years based on current census information, with the approval of CARB.

Why can't I burn a 2x4 or other lumber in my burn pile? 

Lumber is considered construction or demolition debris which is a prohibited material according to State Regulation and District Rule 101. Regardless of the regulation, burning any dimensional lumber can be hazardous to your health and the health of those around you. Even lumber that is considered untreated can contain chemicals linked to public health concerns, including fungicides. This type of wood should also not be used in your indoor wood stove or fireplace. Not only does it usually burn too fast to produce any heat for your home, but it can also cause damage to your appliance or chimney. Many stove manufactures will not honor a warranty for an appliance that has been found burning lumber. An interesting fact about lumber from the Pacific Northwest (and other coastal areas) is that it can contain high levels of salt. Salt is very corrosive to metal. This corrosive effect is multiplied by the high temperatures in your wood stove making it potentially damaging to the stove and chimney.

How do you regulate burning for indoor wood stoves or fireplaces? 

District Rule 104(K). Prohibits the installation of new wood stoves unless they are EPA approved heating appliances and Rule 104(M) prohibits the burning of combustible material in an incinerator unless it has multiple chambers. Woodstoves do not qualify as incinerators because they do not have multiple chambers. The District also coordinates with local building officials to ensure homes and structures are properly constructed so as to avoid smoke nuisances. If and when they do occur, we work with local law enforcement to resolve issues.

What should I burn in my woodstove or fireplace? What's bad about paper? 

Burn dry, seasoned firewood ONLY. Burning anything other than what was designed to burn in your wood stove or fireplace cannot only harm the appliance, but it can harm your health. This includes items like garbage, plastic, rubber, painted or treated wood, dimensional lumber, plywood, saltwater driftwood, cardboard, and paper (glossy and non-glossy). Burning these items can produce noxious and corrosive smoke with toxic fumes. This does not only impact your health but the health of your neighbors as well. Be a good neighbor and think about those around you that may be experiencing impacts from your burning. Learn more about proper burning by visiting the Burn Wise website.

How do I leave a complaint? 

A complaint can be left by calling our main office at (707) 443-3093 or by calling our complaint hotline at (707) 444-2233. You may need to leave a message if no one is available to take your complaint. Please leave your name, phone number, and details about your complaint including the address, if known. A staff member will get back to you when requested. Complaints are investigated by one of the District inspectors and violations are issued when necessary.

What mailing lists do you have and how do I get on one? 
  • Public Notices
  • Rules & Regulation updates
  • Governing Board
  • Hearing Board
  • Title V Sources
  • Wildfire (PSAs, Air Quality Alerts, and Advisories)


You can be added to any of our mailing lists by sending us an email. and noting which lists you would like to be added to, or simply give us a call. Any of our staff would be happy to assist you with getting on a mailing list.

How do I contact the District's Governing Board? 

Written correspondence to the Governing Board is addressed through the Clerk of the Boards. Documents can be sent to our office, addressed to the Governing Board, the attention Clerk of the Boards, or you may send them via email.
You may also attend a public meeting and discuss any air quality related topic during the Public Comment period. Keep in mind that the Board is not allowed to take any action on an item that does not appear on the agenda. Items appearing on the agenda will have their own separate Public Comment period while that item is being discussed. Documents, written or electronic, do not go to the Governing Board unless they are addressed appropriately:

NCUAQMD Governing Board

Attn: Board Clerk

707 L Street

Eureka, CA 95501

Where can I find Public Notices? 

Current Public Notices can be found by clicking here

Why don't you regulate Contrail Emissions? 

Airplane emissions are not under the jurisdiction of local air quality agencies. While EPA establishes emissions standards for aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) administers and enforces these standards. For more information click here.

Where can I find information about radiation monitoring? 

EPA's RadNet stationary air monitors measure radiation emitted from airborne radioactive particles as they collect on the monitor's filter. Local, near-real-time monitoring information can be found by clicking here. The District monitors this data to ensure no increased risk of harmful levels of radiation exposure to the citizens of Humboldt, Del Norte, or Trinity Counties.