Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Guide to burning in Willamette Valley

New Stack Burning registration

The 2009 Oregon Legislature limited the number of acres that can be Stack Burned in the Willamette Valley to 1000 acres per year.

Stack Burning registration is conducted two times per year: January 2 through January 31; September 1 through September 30.

If you have questions or need additional information, please call 503-986-4701.

Back to Top

Open Burning

What is Open Burning?

Open Burning is the burning of debris in an outdoor fireplace, burn barrel, backyard incinerator, or in piles.

When is Open Burning allowed?

Inside a special control area
  • Burning is allowed from March 1 through June 15 and from October 1 through December 15, although your local fire district ordinances may be more restrictive.
  • A written burn permit from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is required during fire season for those within an ODF forest protection district.
Outside a special control area
  • Burning may occur on any approved burn day.
What is a special control area?
  • A special control area is any area within three miles of a city boundary with a population greater than 1,000, but less than 45,000 people.
  • It is also any area within six miles of a city with a population greater than 45,000 people.
What can I burn?

Inside a special control area
  • Yard debris: wood, needles, or leaves from plants grown and burned on property of origin
Outside a special control area
  • Construction waste: lumber, crates, etc.
  • Demolition waste: includes land-clearing debris
  • Domestic waste: includes yard debris
What can't I burn?

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) prohibits the burning of these materials:
  • tires (including tires to start a fire)
  • plastics
  • decomposable garbage (organic material, paper)
  • petroleum and petroleum treated materials
  • asphalt and asphalt treated materials
  • chemical (pesticides, cleaners, detergents)
  • any material that produces black or dense smoke

Back to Top

Agricultural Burning

What is Agricultural Burning?

Agricultural Burning is the burning of any agriculture waste generated by an agricultural operation that uses, or intends to use, land primarily for the purpose of obtaining a profit by raising, harvesting, and selling crops or raising or selling animals (including poultry) or the products of animal husbandry. Prohibited materials, such as tires, cannot be burned even in an agricultural setting.

Am I an agricultural operator

You are an agricultural operator if you make your primary living from the farm or file your tax returns as a farmer or grower. If you don't make your primary living from your agricultural operation, you are a backyard burner and are subject to the rules regarding Open Burning.

  • Horses/Livestock
    An equine breeding ranch that sells foals on a regular basis with the primary intention to make a profit is an agricultural operation. However, the ranch is not an agricultural operation if horses are sold occasionally to offset costs.
  • Agricultural waste
    The brush cleared off of land that will be immediately planted in a crop or used to raise livestock for profit is considered agricultural waste. In an agricultural activity will not be performed on the land cleared, the brush removed is not agricultural waste.
  • Orchards
    Orchards operations may be an agricultural operation if enough producing trees exist in order to obtain a profit (not a hobby orchard). If a dead tree is removed from a large producing orchard and replaced with a new tree, the dead tree wold be agricultural waste. Trees removed for building construction or not agricultural waste.
Is land clearing Agricultural Burning?

Agricultural Burning may include clearing land if an agricultural commodity will be planted or cattle raised, but it does not include burning debris for the construction of buildings.

When can I Agricultural Burn?

Only agricultural operations can perform Agricultural Burning. To find out if daily Agricultural Burning is allowed, call the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) at 503-986-4755.

Can I use a burn barrel?

Burn barrels are inefficient and polluting because they produce low temperature fires and produce toxic smoke. This toxic smoke stays at ground level where it is easily inhaled. It is better to burn in a loosely stacked pile for better air flow and combustion.

Back to Top

Field Burning & Stack Burning

Cereal grain stubble is regulated by ODA and occurs between June and October when weather conditions are favorable for smoke dispersal. Stack Burning is the burning of baled grass seed and cereal grain stubble. Field and Stack Burns must be permitted and are regulated by ODA. You may obtain information about obtaining a permit from ODA by call 503-986-4701
Back to Top

Slash Burning

Slash Burning is the burning of debris from logging and is limited to burning on forest lands. Slash burns are regulated by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Contact ODF for information and Slash Burning permits at 503-859-2151

Back to Top

Oregon State Fire Marshal

The Oregon State Fire Marshal (SFM) is the principal fire authority for the State of Oregon. As such, SFM may refuse, revoke, or postpone any burning activity as needed to protect life, properrty, or the natural resources of the state. The State Fire Marshal works in cooperation with other state, county, and local regulatory agencies, including fire districts, to enforce burning regulations and restrictions.
Back to Top

Local fire districts

Your local fire district is responsible for many aspects of local fire safety, fire suppression, and in many cases, emergency response. They are the experts in fire safety for your area. Fire safety and air quality agencies work together to protect the public. Contact the State Fire Marshal's office to learn in which fire district you reside. Generally if you have questions about burning, call your local fire district first. For fire emergencies call 911.
Back to Top

Regulatory agencies

Oregon Department of Agriculture regulates:
  • Field burning: grass seed and cereal grain
  • Stack burning: grass seed and cereal grain
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality regulates:
  • Demolition burning: structures or land clearing
  • Construction burning: lumber, crates, and packaging material
  • Commercial burning: waste from offices, warehouses, and wholesale/retail yards
  • Industrial burning: processed waste from manufacturing, or industrial process
  • Residential burning: yard debris, paper products
Oregon Department of Forestry regulates:
  • Slash burning: debris from logging
Local fire districts regulate:
  • Local fire safety and fire suppression
  • Backyard burning: yard debris
  • Agricultural burning: inside Urban Growth Boundary

Back to Top


Oregon Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Program Area
Smoke Management Program
635 Capitol St. NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

Oregon Department of Forestry
2600 State St.
Salem, Oregon 97310
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
750 Front St. NE, Suite 120
Salem, Oregon 97301
Oregon State Fire Marshal
4670 Portland Road NE
Salem, Oregon 97305

Back to Top

Page as printable brochure

The information on this page is available in as a printable brochure.

Burning questions: a guide to burning regulations in the Willamette Valley (616K pdf)

Back to Top