Warming Fire Guidelines

  • Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District

  • 24580 Silver Cloud Court

  • Monterey, California 93940

  • Phone (831) 647-9411

  • Fax (831) 647-8501


District Rule 438 (Open Outdoor Fires) generally prohibits open outdoor fires. However, certain types of fires, such as warming fires, may be allowed under specific conditions. A warming fire is considered to be an exception to the general prohibition against open burning, if it is carried out under the following conditions. These conditions define a legitimate warming fire:

  • Ambient temperature is less than 50*F

  • The fire is actually used for warming at least every 15 minutes. A fire that is not visited for warming for more than 15 minutes is not a warming fire.

  • Fuel for such fires can only be clean, dry wood, non-glossy paper or cardboard. No other rubbish or waste may be included. No painted or treated wood may be burned under any circumstances.

  • The fire may only be ignited using a device which does not produce black smoke.

  • The fire may not produce excessive smoke or cause a nuisance by affecting nearby homes, businesses or public roads with smoke or ashes.

  • The fire must be no larger than reasonably necessary to provide warmth.

When any of these conditions defining a warming fire ends, no more fuel may be added to the fire and the fire must be extinguished. If you have any questions concerning application of these guidelines, please call the Compliance Division of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution District for clarification.