Chief's Message

Fire Chief
Fire Chief Nate Armstrong

On behalf of San Mateo County Fire Department, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit our website, please take a few moments to look around and learn more about us. As Fire Chief I am proud to lead and represent a focused and determined group of individuals who have dedicated themselves to serve and protect the people, property, and resources of San Mateo County.

San Mateo County Fire Department has a long and rich history of providing professional and dedicated service for over 100 years. Our department continues to grow and evolved alongside our community. I am extremely humbled and honored to work with such a talented group of fire professionals. We are an “all–risk” organization responding to the needs of the community regardless of the nature of the incident. Our firefighters are highly trained, motivated and laser focused on the core mission to serve the community.

As Fire Chief I will continue to lead by example, building and maintaining an organization which thrives to meet any challenge by focusing on our core values of service, trust, cooperation, safety. I welcome the community to stop by one of our fire stations and meet your local firefighters.


Fire Chief Nate Armstrong

San Mateo County Fire Department Main Office
320 Paul Scannell Drive
San Mateo, CA 94402Get Directions
Monday - Friday:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday:
Contact Information
Phone: (650)-345-1612 Email: Email:
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Open Burn Status

All year, various burn permits are required within all areas of San Mateo County Fire Department and CAL FIRE having jurisdictional authority. Types of permits are described below. All permits can be applied for online at

Open Burning

Certain types of open burning are allowable in San Mateo County. All open burning regulations are regulated by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and require a CAL FIRE permit.

Learn More

Backyard Burning

All backyard burning is prohibited throughout San Mateo County.

Broadcast Burning

Broadcast Burning is the controlled application of fire to the land to reduce wildfire hazards, clear downed trees, control plant diseases, improve rangeland and wildlife habitats, and restore natural ecosystems as outlined in Public Resources Code 4491-4494. This type of burning is sometimes called a controlled burn, prescribed fire, or prescribed burning and is one of the most important tools used to manage fire today. As catastrophic wildfires continue to be a growing concern in California, the use of prescribed burning to reduce hazardous fuels is projected to increase. Daily burn decisions are issued based on the forecast of air quality and meteorological conditions that can affect smoke dispersion. Certain types of projects may require CEQA approval. For more information check out the Prescribed Fires website.

Permit terms are dependent on the size and type of project. Contact CAL FIRE for more details.