Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ Home/ Air Quality

Open "Backyard" Burning

Air pollution created by open burning can irritate eyes and lungs, obscure 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 OAR 340-264-0030.

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 Oregon:

  • Asbestos
  • Asphalt or industrial waste
  • Automotive parts (including frames)
  • Dead animals
  • Plastic and rubber products
  • Tires
  • 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 possible
  • 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:

Residential Open "Backyard" Burning

Tips for when you must burn

Use good burning practices to promote efficient burning and prevent excessive smoke: