Open Burning Info

Burning Rules and Regulations (When the County is not under and Burn Ban)

According to Taos County New Mexico Ordinance NO. 2018-3 Certain types of open burning will require a burn permit from the Taos County Fire Chief and the District Fire Chief where the burn is taking place or there designee. The following burns do require a burn permit 48 hours prior to the start of the burn.

1. Burning of grass, weeds, brush and other ground cover;
2. Burning of piles of slash, trimmings, or other natural vegetative material;
3. Burning of scrap wood;
4. Prescribed fires for game or forest management purposes;
5. Burning for recreational and / or ceremonial purposes in appropriate sites and / or containers.
6. Recreational fires that are larger than 3 feet in diameter and have more than a 3 foot flame length.

Burning must take place no earlier than 30 minutes before sunrise and no later than 30 minutes before sunset. Fire must be completely out by sunset.

Any fire needing a burn permit must be at a minimum of a 300 foot radius away from any residence. If this is not possible, the applicant must notify all homeowners around the burn at least 72 hours in advance of the burn.

All fires must be attended at all time by the permit applicant. No fire shall be left unattended for any reason at any time during the burn.

No burn pile may take place on a burn site larger than 10 X 10 foot square. Any pile larger than that must be inspected by the District Chief, or County Fire Chief prior to ignition.

If a burn pile is anticipated to be over 1,000 cubic feet in site the applicant must present a valid permit from the New Mexico Environment Department along with the permit information.

A charged water source/ fire extinguisher must be readily accessible.

A shovel, rake, hoe, etc. must be readily accessible.

Winds may not exceed 10 MPH

If a District Fire Chief, District Volunteers. County Fire Chief, Deputy County Fire Chief, Taos County Sherriff’s Department, New Mexico State Police or other authorized enforcement agency directs the burn pile to be extinguished, the burn must be extinguished immediately.


When a request for a burn permit is given, the County Fire Chief or District Fire Chief or designee may need to see the property/ burn pile to ensure safety. The County Fire Chief or District Fire Chief or designee reserves the right to require additional safety provisions in place before the permit is issued. The County Fire Chief, District Fire Chief or designee also reserves the right to deny a burn or burn permit at his/her discretion.

IF a burn permit is issued out the Applicant, the County or District Fire Chief will each keep a copy of the burn permit until the permit is expired. Once a permit is expired the applicant is required to get another Burn Permit. The applicant must keep the Burn Permit at the burn site at all times. The applicant must also call Taos Central Dispatch before and after a burn.

The County Fire Chief or District Fire Chief or designee reserves the rights to revoke a burn permit if safety concerns arise that were unforeseen at the time of issuance.

Burn Bans 

During the time of high/extreme fire danger, the County Fire Chief, District Fire Chiefs, and the Taos County Commission may order a burn ban under resolution requiring ALL Burning in Taos County except for the municipal areas in the county to cease immediately. The Burn Ban may be for a period of time or indefinitely until conditions improve. Any burning during this time may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

For more information regarding the Taos County Open Burn Ordinance and to view what is not allowed to be burned, and what is allowed to be burned without a burn permit please click the link below. 

Ordinance 2018-3