Air Quality

​DEQ has received a large number of complaints about open burning. There are specific days and times wh​en open burning is allowed, check your local fire department for open burning restrictions before submitting a complaint. DEQ can address open burning of certain materials such as rubber, plastic, tires, asbestos, and food waste. DEQ is responding to complaints as quickly as possible. 

Get more information on DEQ regulation of open burning

In parts of urban and rural Oregon, burning yard debris continues to be the disposal method of choice for a significant part of the population. Besides smoke that can be seen by an outdoor burn, the activity also emits a number of air pollutants that can adversely affect public health.

Can I burn? 

Depending upon where you live, there may be certain burning prohibitions or restrictions in place. It may be illegal to burn certain types of yard debris in the area where you live, or you may need a permit to burn your yard debris. If you are located in an area that does allow burning you’ll need to check and see if there are any seasonal restrictions.   Additionally, cities, counties and local fire districts also have their own restrictions on open burning. Always check with your local fire department before you burn.
  • Open burning restrictions by county
  • If you live in the Portland metro area (Clackamas, Multnomah, or Washington County), please con​sult this map to see if you are in the burn ban area.  If you live in a shaded area on the map, you cannot burn yard debris.
While it may be legal in your area, please consider alternatives to burning. 

Health Impacts of Smoke

Open burning creates air pollution in the form of smoke. Vapors and small airborne particles can be inhaled, making breathing difficult and leading to more serious short-term and chronic health problems. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. The quantity and duration of smoke exposure, as well as a person’s age and degree of susceptibility, play a role in determining whether or not someone will experience smoke-related health problems. Read more about the health effects of wood smoke.  

Burning regulated by other agencies

Prescribed burning, slash burning and smoke management

Prescribed burning is “controlled burning” which involves the process of planning and applying fire to a predetermined area, under specific environmental conditions. Slash burning (burning debris from logging) is limited to burning on forestlands for forest management and is usually managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry. It is not the clearing of forestland for non-forest management related activities.
The Oregon Department of Forestry develops and implements a statewide Oregon Smoke Management Plan to keep smoke from prescribed burning, or “controlled burning” into specific areas of the state and to provide maximum opportunity for forestland burning while minimizing emissions.  

Agricultural field burning

Agricultural burning is limited to agricultural waste, such as material generated by an agricultural operation that uses land primarily for the purpose of obtaining a profit in money by raising, harvesting, and selling crops or raising and selling animals.  Agricultural burning can include the burning of residue after harvest of a grass seed or cereal grain crop or clearing of agricultural land.


​Burning the following materials is illegal anytime, anywhere in Oregon:
  • Asbestos
  • Asphalt
  • Auto parts (including frames)
  • Dead animals
  • Plastic and rubber products
  • Tires
  • Waste oil, petroleum materials
  • Wet garbage and food waste
  • Material creating dense smoke or noxious odors.


Report illegal burning by visiting

Pollution Complaint web page