LAKE COUNTY AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT


CHAPTER VIII AGRICULTURAL BURNING

 

Section 1000: The following Rules and Regulations are adopted in accordance with Section 41863 of the Health and Safety Code and the Air Resources Board's Agricultural Burning Guidelines (Title 17, California Administrative Code).
Section 1001: An agricultural permit shall be required for agricultural burning and shall contain the following statement: "This permit is valid only on those days during which agricultural burning is not prohibited by the State Air Resources Board."
Section 1002:

Agencies Authorized to Issue Burning Permits: The agencies listed in Table 8 are hereby designated by the District as having authority to issue non agricultural and agricultural burn permits pursuant to District Rules and Regulations. Procedural guidelines agreed to by the APCO and ratified by the Lake County Fire Chiefs Association shall be utilized for permit issuance.

Table 8: AGENCIES DESIGNATED TO ISSUE BURNING PERMITS

  1. *California Division of Forestry; Middletown
  2. *California Division of Forestry; Kelseyville/Cobb
  3. United States Forest Service; Upper Lake
  4. Clearlake Oaks Fire Protection District
  5. Kelseyville Fire Protection District
  6. Lakeport County Fire Protection District
  7. Lakeshore Fire Protection District; (City of Clearlake)
  8. South Lake County Fire Protection District
  9. Upper Lake Fire Protection District
  10. Nice Community Service District (Fire Protection District)
  11. Lower Lake Fire Protection District
  12. Lucerne Recreation and Park District (Fire Protection District)
  13. Lake County Building Department (land development clearing)
  14. *California Division of Forestry; Clearlake Oaks

* Supervision and control of these offices are at the Lake-Napa Ranger District Headquarters, St. Helena.

Section 1003: The District may issue a special permit to authorize agricultural burning on days designated by the Air Resources Board or the Air Pollution Control Officer as no-burn days if denial of such permit would threaten imminent and substantial economic loss. Economic exemptions shall be issued pursuant to the California Health and Safety code (Sec 41862) and these rules and regulations.
Section 1010: The Air Pollution Control Officer shall designate as a"no-burn day", any day designated a "burn day" by the State Air Resources Board if necessary to protect the ambient air quality from substantial degradation, the public health, and violations of ambient air quality standards. Notice of burn day status shall be provided to the public in the normal manner noting the presence of any emergency condition as appropriate. On any day for which conditions of abnormal high temperatures, low relative humidity or high wind velocities are anticipated, or existing wildfires create an extreme potential for uncontrolled fires which may cause violations of any ambient air quality standard, the APCO, after receipt of a recommendation from the Lake County Fire Chiefs Association Burning Assessment Committee that such extreme fire hazard conditions exist conducive to uncontrolled fire occurrence, should declare such day a no burn day. The Lake County Fire Chiefs Association, Burning Assessment Committee should be designated and the District informed prior to September 1 of each year by the Association. Said Committee shall consist of two Fire Chiefs and one CDF representative. Determination made by the Lake County Fire Chiefs Association Burning Assessment Committee shall be made on a daily basis, and whenever possible the District shall be informed by 3:00 PM of the preceding day. Subsequent to any verbal recommendation or as part of a recommendation by the Committee a brief written report shall be forwarded to the District Board of Directors and APCO setting forth the reason for such recommendation. Economic exemptions shall be issued pursuant to the California Health and Safety code (41862) and Section 1107 of these rules and regulations.
Section 1100:

Range Improvement Burning: The following regulations shall apply to all range improvement burning:

  1. After obtaining an agricultural burn permit, range improvement burning may be conducted on no-burn days during the period of January 1 to May 31, providing more than fifty (50) percent of the land has been brush treated. The Air Resources Board may prohibit all range improvement burning during the period if, in the opinion of the Air Resources Board, the prohibition is required for the maintenance of air quality.
  2. All burning shall be ignited by approved ignition devices, such as fuses, orchard torches, propane torches, pressurized flamethrower-type torches, jellied petroleum devices, commercial jellied petroleum pumps, commercial grenade devices, matches, fuselighters, commercial fuses, fuel blivets, drip torches, diesel sprayers or other such approved devices.
  3. The total amount of material that may be burned in each designated district watershed shall not exceed that set forth in Table 9.
  4. Wastes to be burned shall be free of tires, tarpaper or other types of rubbish likely to cause excessive smoke.
  5. Wastes shall be ignited as rapidly as practicable within applicable fire control restrictions.
  6. Maximum care must be taken to keep smoke from drifting into populated areas. Wind direction, topography and population density, shall be considered to minimize smoke reaching nearby populated areas.
  7. Brush is to be treated at least six (6) months prior to burning if economically and technically feasible.
  8. Unwanted trees over six (6) inches in diameter shall be felled and dried at least sixty (60) days.
  9. If the burn is to be done primarily for the improvement of land for wildlife and game habitat, the applicant must obtain a statement from the Department of Fish and Game that the burn is desirable and proper. Such statements must be filed with the designated agency and the Air Quality Management District.

 TABLE 9

DAILY QUOTA OF AGRICULTURAL MATERIAL

THAT MAY BE BURNED BY WATERSHED

Watershed Acreage (or Tonnage) per Day*
Clear Lake 5,000 acres (150,000 tons)
Putah Creek 2,000 acres ( 60,000 tons)
Scotts Creek 2,000 acres ( 60,000 tons)
 

* Acreage based on average fuel density of thirty (30) tons per acre. Acreage must be adjusted downwardly in the event the average fuel density exceeds thirty (30) tons per acre. Acreage may be adjusted upwardly if fuel density is less than thirty (30) tons per acre. Adjustment of acreage will be at the discretion of the fire control agency or Control District based on Table 10 "Guides for Estimating Dry Weights of Several California Fuel Types", the air quality and the fire control conditions.

Daily quota is the maximum permissible material that may be burned. Neither the fire control agency nor the Control District is required to allow the maximum amount permissible on any given burn-day.

Section 1105:

Agricultural Burning Hours: Burning hours for agricultural purposes in the Lake County Air Management District are as follows:

  1. Fire season, as defined in Section 226.5, 8 AM through 12 noon; and
  2. Non-Fire Season, 9 AM through 3 PM.

No fire shall be ignited before or after these applicable hours unless such day is designated as an extended burn day by the Lake County Air Quality Management District. Existing lawful fires continuing to burn without fuel addition after these designated hours are authorized unless it creates a public nuisance or threatens the public health, safety or welfare pursuant to the California State Health and Safety Code or these Rules and Regulations. 

Extended burn days shall be determined after consideration of the following factors:

  1. prevailing visibility (observed, measured coefficient of haze and nephlometric back scattering);
  2. anticipated frontal movement;
  3. existence or expectation of inversions and a non adiabatic lapse rate (if information is available);
  4. previous and next day's burn status;
  5. precipitation; and
  6. if air quality at the time of determination has degraded to 50% of any ambient air quality standard.

Exemptions to this rule may be allowed pursuant to other sections of these rules and regulations, and by specific multi-day burn permits when the burn is not reasonably expected to be accomplished in a single day. For a multi-day burn permit, special conditions as to the time and conditions for which the fire is to be ignited shall be added to encourage good air dispersion conditions and assure fire protection.

Section 1107:

Burning During Fire Hazard Season: From June 1 to the end of fire season, as defined in Section 226.5 subject to the following conditions:

  1. Reasonable economic need is established by the applicant.
  2. An on site inspection by the local fire agency to determine that fire safety is acceptable.
  3. After the on site inspection, the permittee obtains an agricultural burning permit.
  4. Permittee agrees to notify the fire department on the day of the burn and to conduct the burn to the extent possible between the hours of 8 AM through 12 noon or at an agreed upon specific time identified in the issued permit.

Exceptions set forth in Section 432 are applicable.

Section 1150:

Wildland Vegetation Burning: The following regulations shall apply to all burning as defined in Section 270:

  1. Any such burning as defined in section 270 shall require an agricultural burning permit unless performed by a fire prevention agency authorized to issue agricultural burning permits and that agency files a plan with the District.
  2. Procedures for economic exemption from a designated no burn day shall be as described in Section 1003, but the APCO may additionally consider exisiting and predicted meteorological conditions effecting the specfic planned burning activity and the likelihood of air quality degradation in granting such an economic exemption.
  3. All wildland vegetation management burning shall be ignited by a District approved ignition device such as helicopter torches, orchard torches, propane torches, pressurized flamethrower type torches, jellied petroleum devices, commercial grenade devices, matches, commercial fuses, approved fuel blivets, drip torches, diesel sprayers, or other approved devices. Ignition shall be accomplished in a manner to minimize the amount of smoke generation and as rapidly as possible, unless good vegetation management or fire protection practices dictate otherwise.
  4. The total amount of all types of agricultural material, inclusive of wildland vegetation management, that may be permitted to be burned on any one day in each designated watershed of the District shall not exceed that set forth in Table 9. The amount of total acreage may be further limited by the District if prevailing meteorology and air quality, or the type of planned burn, threatens serious air quality degradation or violation of Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  5. Burning shall be accomplished in a manner to avoid violation of state or federal Ambient Air Quality Standards or the creation of a public nuisance. Maximum care must be taken to keep smoke from drifting into populated areas such as community centers or incorporated areas and their immediate surrounds populace. Wind direction, topography, thermal lapse rate, thermal inversions and population density shall be considered to minimize smoke reaching nearby populated areas, and addressed within a smoke management plans.
  6. Materials to be burned shall be in a condition to promote combustion or a specified in the approved smoke management plan.
  7. Land on which vegetation is to be burned shall be free of tires, rubbish, tarpaper, construction debris, plastic wastes, or other types of material likely to cause excessive or toxic smoke.
  8. Wastes to be burned shall be reasonably free of dirt, soil and visible surface moisture.
  9. Wildland management burns as defined in Section 270 greater in size than 20 acres shall submit and implement a plan (one plan may cover several phases of burning a given area) detailing the following:
  1. location of burn;
  2. primary objective of the burn;
  3. total acreage to be burned, type of vegetation and arrangement or status of vegetation;
  4. Direction and distance to nearby receptors (residences or places significant numbers of people are likely to be);
  5. prescription for condition of fuel or vegetation to be burned;
  6. meteorological prescription elements proposed for the project (may be modified by the District);
  7. anticipated schedule and duration of project ignition, combustion and burndown;
  8. specifications for monitoring and verifying critical project parameters; and
  9. specifications for disseminating project information;
  10. For burns on which a smoke management plan have been approved, and after request by a designated agency, seven days in advance of any planned burn, the State of California Air Resources Board on a case by case basis, may issue wildland vegetation management no-burn or permissive burn notices 48 hours in advance of such planned burning. Not withstanding such advanced notice the ARB shall cancel permissive burn notices issued more than 24 hours in advance if the cancellation is necessary to maintain suitable air quality (i.e. no AAQS violations)
Section 1200:

Forest Management Burning: The following regulations shall apply to forest management burning:

  1. After obtaining an agricultural burn permit, forest management burning may be conducted on no-burn days during the period of January 1 to May 31 of each year.
  2. All forest management burning shall be ignited by approved ignition devices such as fuses, orchard torches, propane torches, pressurized flamethrower-type torches, jellied petroleum devices, commercial jellied petroleum pumps, commercial grenade devices, matches, fuselighters, commercial fuses, fuel blivets, drip torches, diesel sprayers or other such approved devices.
  3. The total amount of material that may be burned in each designated district watershed shall not exceed that set forth in Table 9.
  4. Wastes shall be ignited as rapidly as practicable within applicable fire control restrictions.
  5. Maximum care must be taken to keep smoke from drifting into populated areas such as the incorporated cities and their immediate surrounding populace. Wind direction, topography, thermal inversion and population density shall be considered to minimize smoke reaching nearby populated areas.
  6. Materials to be burned shall be dried for minimum periods as determined by the designated agency.
  7. Wastes to be burned shall be free of tires, rubbish, tarpaper, construction debris or other types of material likely to cause excessive smoke.
  8. Wastes to be burned shall be reasonably free of dirt, soil and visible surface moisture.
  9. Wastes to be burned shall be wind-rowed or piled where possible, unless good silvicultural practices dictate otherwise.
  10. Wastes to be burned in piles shall be prepared to burn with a minimum of smoke.
 

TABLE 10

GUIDES FOR ESTIMATING DRY WEIGHTS

OF SEVERAL CALIFORNIA FUEL TYPES

 

Code # Fuel Types Material Total Dry Weight
(tons/acre)
1 Grass 2
2 Grass and scattered sage 4
3 Mature timber (little chopping) 30
4 Bear Clover 8
5 Open Manzanita 10
6 Timber - medium reproduction an brush 15
7 Light to medium chamise - Southern California 6
8 Brush mixture with sage 12
9 Medium brush - in cut-over or timber burn 20
10 Mixed Douglas Fir - White Fir with brush and rep. 40
11 Medium brush and oak - Southern California 15
12 Heavy pure manzanita, chamise or buck brush 25
13 Heavy mixed brush 30
14 Heaviest mixed brush 35
15 Second growth - medium poles 20
16 Slash in cut-overs See items 1-4 below
17 Woodland - little chopping 3
18 Prunings 3
19 Miscellaneous To be estimated
* Dry weights of slash in cut-overs (fuel type 16)

Total Dry Weight

1. Hand Piles 6' x 6' x 6'

1 ton

2. Machine Piles 15' x 15' x 15'

6 tons

3. Log Decks 32' x 15' x 10'

60 tons

4. Patch Cut Areas: Light
Medium
Heavy

60 tons/acre
90 tons/acre
150 tons/acre

Section 1300:

Open Burning in Agricultural Operations in the Growing of Crops or Raising of Animals:

The following regulations shall apply:

  1. All burning shall be ignited by approved ignition devices such as fuses, orchard torches, propane torches, pressurized flamethrower-type torches, jellied petroleum devices, matches, fuselighters, commercial fuses, fuel blivets, drip torches, diesel sprayers or other such approved devices.
  2. All material to be burned shall be free of material that is not produced in an agricultural operation as defined in these Regulations. Tires, tarpaper and other rubbish likely to cause excessive smoke shall not be burned.
  3. All material to be burned shall be arranged so that it will burn with a minimum of smoke and be reasonably free of dirt, soil and visible surface moisture.
  4. Materials shall be dried as follows:
    1. Trees and branches over six (6) inches in diameter: sixty (60) days.
    2. Prunings and smaller branches: fifteen (15) days.
    3. Field crops, brush and weeds cut in a green condition: seven (7) days.
    4. Other materials: drying time will be determined by the designated agency.
    5. Designated agencies may modify the above drying times as conditions warrant.
  5. The total amount of material that may be burned in each designated district watershed shall not exceed that set forth in Table 9.
  6. Maximum care must be taken to keep smoke from drifting into populated areas such as the incorporated cities and their immediate surrounding populace. Wind direction, topography, thermal inversion and population density shall be considered to minimize smoke reaching nearby populated areas.
  7. Burning of empty sacks or containers which contained pesticides or other toxic substances may be permitted on "no-burn" days providing the sacks or containers are within the definition of "Open Burning in Agricultural Operations in the Growing of Crops or Raising of Animals" as specified by definition.
Section 1350:

Burning of Standing Tule: The following shall apply to the use of open fires for the burning of standing tule for agricultural or habitat improvement purposes:

  1. An Agricultural Burning Permit is required. Burning shall be permitted by special permit issued by the District if desirable meteorology for the duration of the planned burn is anticipated, consistent with C and D below, and economic considerations warrant.
  2. The District shall be contacted for concurrence on the date of the planned burn prior to burning, and the District may, when necessary to preserve air quality, elect to delay the burn. In making such a decision to delay, the District shall consider the quantity and condition of tules to be burned, location of burn site, proximity to receptors and prevailing meteorological and ambient air quality conditions. The fire protection agency shall also be notified by the permit holder prior to the burn on the day of the burn.
  3. Maximum care must be taken to keep smoke and ash from drifting into residential areas and the immediate surrounding populace. Wind direction, topography, thermal inversion and population density shall be considered by the responsible adult in charge of the fire in an effort to minimize smoke or ash reaching nearby residential areas in any decision to burn.
  4. As part of obtaining a permit the applicant shall provide the District a simple map showing the location of the burn and the nearby residential areas, and a statement that the tules to be burned have not been burned during the prior season.
  5. The burn shall be ignited as rapidly as practicable within applicable fire control restrictions using an approved ignition device such as an orchard torch, propane torch, pressurized flame thrower-type torch, jellied petroleum device, matches, fuse lighter, commercial fuse, drip torch, diesel sprayer or other such approved device.
  6. All material to be burned shall be free of material that is not grown on the property where the tules are to be burned. Tires, tar paper and other rubbish shall not be burned.
Section 1400:

Wood Waste Burning: The following Regulations shall apply to the use of open fires for the disposal of wood waste from property being developed for industrial, commercial or residential purposes:

  1. All burning shall be ignited by approved ignition devices such as fuses, orchard torches, propane torches, pressurized flamethrower-type torches, jellied petroleum devices, matches, fuselighters, commercial fuses, fuel blivets, drip torches, diesel sprayers or other such approved devices.
  2. All material to be burned shall be free of material that is not produced in the clearance or grown on the property where the waste is to be burned. Tires, tarpaper and other rubbish likely to cause excessive smoke shall not be burned.
  3. All material to be burned shall be arranged so that it will burn with a minimum of smoke and be reasonably free of dirt, soil and visible surface moisture.
  4. Material shall be dried as follows:
    1. Trees and branches over six (6) inches in diameter: sixty (60) days.
    2. Vines and brush: thirty (30) days.
    3. Prunings and smaller branches: fifteen (15) days.
    4. Designated agencies may modify the above drying times as conditions warrant.
  5. The total amount of material that may be burned in each designated district watershed shall not exceed that set forth in Table 9.
  6. The burn shall be ignited as rapidly as practicable within applicable fire control restrictions.
  7. Maximum care must be taken to keep smoke from drifting into populated areas such as the incorporated cities and their immediate surrounding populace. Wind direction, topography, thermal inversion and population density shall be considered to minimize smoke reaching nearby populated areas.
  8. Unwanted trees over six (6) inches in diameter shall be felled and dried at least sixty (60) days.
  9. Brush must be crushed, uprooted or desiccated with herbicides at least six (6) months prior to burning if economically and technically feasible.
  10. An Agricultural Burning Permit is required and is permitted to burn only on "Permissive-Burn" days.
  11. No special "no-burn" permits shall be granted.
  12. No authorization shall be granted after January 1, 1980, or such earlier date if the Air Resources Board determines that an alternate method is technically and economically feasible.
Section 1500 Enforcement: Any person who knowingly sets or engages in agricultural burning without obtaining an agricultural burning permit is guilty of a misdemeanor. Every day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense.