Open Burning

Burn Permit Information

Open burning can only be achieved with an authorized Burn Permit. Applications for Burn Permits can be dropped off at Town Hall on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. All requests for Open Burning Permits should be made three to five days in advance. There is no charge for this permit, but certain regulations and guidelines for burning must be followed. These regulations and guidelines are outlined at the bottom of this page. Burn permits are good for 14 days from the date of issuance. The application must be completed in full. Failure to provide any of the information may result in a delay and/or rejection of the application.


Authorizations to burn will be approve by application and permit process. Sunnyvale Fire Rescue will contact you to set up an inspection.

Regulations & Guidelines

  • Burning Permits are issued for the open burning of trees, brush, shrubs, and limbs, solely for the purpose of land clearance. ALL TRASH BURNING IS PROHIBITED (IFC 2018 Section 307.2). Burn permits are available to residents and property owners only, and are not available to contractors.
  • Authorization to burn will only be granted when the wind speed as forecasted by the National Weather Service does not exceed 15 mph.
  • Once permission has been granted, no burn permit site shall be left unattended for any period unless the fire has been completely extinguished (IFC 2018 Section 307.5).
  • The burn permit site and the materials to be burned are subject to inspection at any time by any inspector of Sunnyvale Fire Rescue (IFC 2018 Section 307.2.1 and 307.3).
  • The Fire Code Official is authorized to order the extinguishment of open burning by the permit holder, another responsible party, or the fire department if it creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation (IFC 2018 Section 307.3).
  • Each person or resident shall be responsible for providing adequate safety precautions to control the open fire.
  • Gasoline, diesel, or any other type of accelerant shall not be used to ignite/maintain the burn pile.
  • All burn piles shall be located a minimum of 150’ from all structures and a minimum of 50’ from public roadways and property lines (NCTCOG/Sunnyvale Fire Amendment to IFC 2018 Section 307.4).
  • All burn piles shall be completely extinguished before sundown each day. 
  • Not less than one portable fire extinguisher with a 4-A rating, or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate use during the burn until all fire has been extinguished (IFC 2018 Section 307.5).
  • Open burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke emissions or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited (IFC 2018 307.1.1).
  • Any person or resident obtaining a burn permit does so at their own risk. In no event shall any liability or damage be imposed upon the organization authorizing the permit if damages and/or injury are sustained as a result of any burning.
  • Failure to comply with any provision of this permit and/or its application may result in the loss of future burning privileges and the issuance of a citation charging the applicant with a direct violation of the Town of Sunnyvale adopted fire code, amendments, and ordinances.

Apply for a Burn Permit

Please fill out the Burn Permit Application (PDF) in its entirety, including the signature on the first page. The application can be turned into Town Hall (M-F, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), emailed to the Fire Department, or faxed to (972) 226-4613.  

A member of the department will respond to you the next business day to schedule an inspection of your burn site.

Additional Information