New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Air Quality Bureau

Open Burning in New Mexico

Open burning regulations apply to almost all types of outdoor burning, including trash burning and small-scale weed, yard waste, agricultural, and prescribed burning. NMED does not issue permits for open burning, but cities, towns and counties may require them.

Backyard trash burning is the biggest source of several hazardous emissions, including dioxins, in New Mexico. Burning household waste is prohibited under open burning regulations.

Under state law (Section 74-2-14 NMSA), violation of the Open Burning regulation is a petty misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Anyone may file a complaint in Magistrate Court for violations of this regulation. The New Mexico Environment Department also has authority under state law to assess civil penalties for violations.

These regulations apply statewide, except in Bernalillo County and on tribal and pueblo lands, where NMED does not have authority over air quality.

More information on open burning in New Mexico is available here.

For complaints about specific open burning incidents, please contact your local NMED Field Office or the Air Quality Bureau in Santa Fe at 505-476-4300 or 1-800-224-7009.