City of Fort Collins Reminds Residents — Burning Yard Waste is Illegal

New Requirements for Outdoor Residential Burning

March’s record snowfall created a variety of challenges for community members. Heavy snow downed tree limbs and created other green waste. Currently, there are several free resources provided by the City of Fort Collins to properly dispose of tree limbs and yard waste which will be turned into mulch and become available to residents.

City Resources from March Snowstorm:

While burning yard waste may also seem like a reasonable option for cleanup, burning anything other than clean, dry, untreated, seasoned wood is prohibited within city limits.

Smoke and odor from outdoor burning can be considered a public nuisance. It can negatively impact neighbors, especially those with existing respiratory illnesses, children, and older populations. Furthermore, many community members are recovering from COVID-19 and may be more sensitive to poor air quality.

As a reminder, outdoor burning requirements consist of the following:

  • Only clean, dry, untreated, seasoned wood may be burned. Burning yard waste or garbage is prohibited.
  • Fires must be a minimum of 15 feet from any property line, structure, or combustible surface.
  • Fires are prohibited between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and must be fully extinguished by 10 p.m.
  • Fires must be attended by a competent person at all times.
  • An extinguishment method must be readily available.

To help keep you, your neighbors, and our community’s air healthy:

  • Sign up for air quality alerts at and refrain from burning on high pollution advisory days.
  • Check the local air quality index and weather conditions at
  • While maintaining appropriate physical distancing, contact neighbors to determine if they have concerns about neighborhood fires.

Community members negatively impacted by smoke from someone’s fire may voice their concerns via Access Fort Collins ( or the City’s Nuisance Hotline at 970-416-2200.

For non-emergency health and safety concerns, please contact the Fort Collins non-emergency dispatch line at 970-221-6540.

For emergencies, always call 9-1-1. 

Learn more about what you can burn and how to apply for a permit with the following resources:

Outdoor Burning within Fort Collins City limits:

Outdoor burning in Larimer County:

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