Department of Environmental Quality
Air pollution created by open burning can irritate eyes and lungs,
visibility, soil nearby surfaces, create annoying odors or pose
other nuisance and health threats. Because of problems created by this
activity, open burning is restricted in selected parts of the state
based on population growth and availability of alternatives. If you
choose to burn, you are responsible for any fire, smoke or odors created
from open burning and for any damage that results from your fire.
Examples of outdoor or open burning include: using a burn barrel,
burning yard debris, burning construction or demolition debris, burning
in incinerators that do not meet emission limits and burning stumps to
clear land. The legal description of open burning is defined in
Open burning restrictions by county
To find out how open burning is restricted in your area, choose your
county from the list below.
Cities, counties and
local fire districts also have their own restrictions on open burning.
Always check with your local fire department before you burn.
Burning the following materials is illegal any time, anywhere in
- Asphalt or industrial waste
- Automotive parts (including frames)
- Dead animals
- Plastic and rubber products
- Waste oil, petroleum treated and related materials
- Wet garbage and food waste
- Any material creating dense smoke or noxious odors
Choose Alternatives to Open Burning
- Recycle paper products when
- Dispose of waste at a landfill
- Compost yard debris and kitchen scraps
- Reuse old lumber
- Buy a chipper and use chips for mulch and compost.
- Work with neighbors to organize a neighborhood cleanup day.
- Take hazardous materials, including oil-based paints, solvents, garden
chemicals and car fluids to a hazardous waste collection site. Burning these
materials is illegal and extremely dangerous.
- For more information on disposing of these items visit
METRO's Find a Recycler page.
Situations Where Open Burning is Allowed
The following types of fires are not restricted by DEQ:
- Recreational fires and ceremonial fires where a fire is appropriate and
is not used for disposal purposes
- The operation of barbecue equipment
- Fires set or permitted by a public agency for official duties associated
with weed abatement, prevention or elimination of a fire hazard, a hazard to
public health or safety or the instruction of employees in the methods of
- Fires set for instruction of employees of private industrial concerns in
methods of fire fighting or civil defense instruction
- Fires set for the disposal of dry tumbleweed plants that have been
broken off, and rolled about, by the wind
- Fires set to burn waste associated with an agricultural operation. An
agricultural operation is defined as an activity that involves the raising,
harvesting or selling of crops, livestock or poultry or their produce. The
activity must either show a profit or intend to show a profit to qualify.
- Burning for agricultural disease or pest control when authorized by the
Oregon Department of Agriculture.
- Burning of carcasses of animals that have died or been ordered destroyed
because of an animal disease emergency
Residential Open "Backyard" Burning
Tips for when you must burn
Use good burning practices to promote efficient burning and prevent
- Assure all combustible material is dried to the extent practicable.
This includes covering the combustible material when practicable to protect
it from moisture including precipitation or dew.
- Loosely stack or windrow the combustible material to eliminate dirt,
rocks or other noncombustible material and to promote an adequate air supply
to the burning pile.
- Periodically restack or feed the burning pile to ensure combustion
is robust and completed efficiently.