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

According to Sandoval County New Mexico Ordinance NO. 10-06-03.9B, “open burning shall be prohibited unless a permit is obtained by request made through the Sandoval County Fire Marshal”. A written or verbal documented permit will be issued at the discretion of the Fire Marshal.

At this time, the Sandoval County Fire Marshal is authorizing small scale burns in unincorporated Sandoval County with the following provisions in place:

  • Burning of brush, slash, or agricultural waste only (ex. tumbleweeds, small sticks, leaves, etc.)
    • Burning of any household materials is AGAINST STATE LAW
  • Burning must take place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
    • The fire must be completely extinguished by 4:40 p.m.
  • The burn pile must be no larger than a 3’Hx3’W in size
  • Citizens are allowed to burn on their own property only
  • Safety precautions such as clearing grass, leaves, trees and other flammables from around the burn pile shall be taken
    • Must be 5 feet or more of clearance around the burn pile
  • The burn pile shall be no less than 50 feet away from structures – IFC 2003 307.3
  • Winds may not exceed 7 mph
  • A charged water source/fire extinguisher must be readily accessible
  • A shovel, rake, hoe, etc must be readily accessible
  • The burn pile must be attended at all times
  • All reasonable measures to assure complete combustion and reduce excessive smoke are to be taken
  • A daytime temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit or less

If a member of the Sandoval County Fire Department, Sandoval County Sherriff’s Department, or other authorized enforcement agency directs the burn pile to be extinguished, the burn must be extinguished immediately.

Burn Permits

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

If the burn is allowed, a Sandoval County Fire Department Burn Permit shall be issued. A copy will be left with or sent to the requester for them to have on them at all times during the burn; another copy shall be kept on file with the Fire Marshal or designee for a period of six (6) months.

The Fire Marshal reserves the rights to revoke a burn permit if safety concerns, such as weather, arise that were unforeseen at the time of issuance. Burn Permits are only issued M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. excluding holidays.

Burn Bans

During time of high/extreme fire danger, the Fire Marshal may order a “Burn Ban” requiring ALL burning in the county to cease immediately. The Burn Ban may be for a period of time or indefinitely until conditions approve. Any burning during this time may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Reporting Violations

The Sandoval County Fire Marshal, or designee, shall be contacted for any burns that are outside of the above provisions. To contact the Fire Marshal or designee, please send an email to the appropriate Fire Department members below:

  • La Cueva Area and communities near La Cueva including Sierra Los Pinos, Thompson Ridge, Cochiti Mesa and Seven Springs
    • Email Sandoval County District Chief Lee Taylor at lacuevafire@windstream.net
  • For La Madera
    • Email Sandoval County District Chief Joe Gober at gober621@comcast.net
  • For  Zia Pueblo, Torreon, Regina, La Jara, Ponderosa, Canyon, Algodones, Placitas, and Pena Blanca
    • Email the Sandoval County Fire Marshal, Eric Masterson at emasterson@sandovalcountynm.gov

The Fire Marshal or designee can also be contacted at 505-867-4581 or 1-800-898-2876 and follow the prompts. The prompts will connect you via phone to the same Sandoval County Personnel as listed above.