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Burning 101

burnung slash

Can I burn?

IF you are eligible to burn, all burning is subject to general requirementsprohibitions and weather conditions in accordance with Division 264 Rules For Open Burning.

Any allowable open burning must occur during daylight hours between 7:30 a.m. and two hours before sunset. Check here for additional information before you burn. All burning must follow the rules, requirements and bans of your local jurisdiction including cities, counties, and fire departments and the State Fire Marshal. Never leave a fire unattended.  Escaped fire is a leading cause of wildfires in Oregon.

ALWAYS choose alternatives to open burning first.

Burning in compliance with this website does not exempt any person from any civil or criminal liability for consequences or damages resulting from burning. Please check your address on DEQ's interactive map for open burning restrictions.

Can I Burn Mapping Tool

Choose alternatives to open burning first

Not burning is the best way to keep the air healthy and clean for all Oregonians. 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. Alternatives to burning are available depending on where you live and the type of materials you want to burn. For information on alternatives to burning near you, please contact your local county.

  • Recycle paper products when possible
  • Dispose of waste at a landfill
  • Compost yard debris and kitchen scraps
  • Reuse old lumber
  • Buy or rent a chipper to create 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.​

It is illegal to burn the following materials in Oregon and will result in enforcement action.

  • ​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

Burn permits

In accordance with Division 264 Rules For Open Burning, DEQ may issue a letter permit for open burning of commercial, industrial, slash, construction or demolition waste and yard debris. 

All burning in the state of Oregon is subject to general requirements, prohibitions and weather conditions as well as the requirements of your local jurisdiction including cities, counties, and fire departments. Regional DEQ offices can assist you with permitting information and complaints about prohibited burns.

Please use the interactive map tool to determine if you are eligible or need to apply for a permit to burn.

The DEQ letter permit provides the restrictions, prohibitions, expiration, type and amount of burning allowed, and specific language approved in each burn request.

Each letter permit, except permits for yard debris, will not be valid after 30 consecutive calendar days of which a maximum of seven can be used for burning. DEQ may issue specific letter permits for shorter periods.

Letter permits are not renewable or transferable. Any request to conduct additional burning requires a new application and a new permit.

No person may violate any condition, limitation, or term of a letter permit.

Each DEQ letter permit contains the following elements:

  • The location where burning is permitted to take place.
  • The number of actual calendar days on which burning is permitted to take place, not to exceed seven days. Burning pursuant to a permit for yard debris must be limited to three days per season unless satisfactory justification for more burning is provided by the applicant.
  • The period during which the permit is valid, not to exceed a period of 30 consecutive days, except for a permit for yard debris. The actual period in the permit must be specific to the needs of the applicant. DEQ may issue specific letter permits for shorter periods.
  • A letter permit for yard debris is valid for a single burning season or for both the spring and fall burning seasons during a calendar year, as appropriate to the application and the fee paid pursuant to the schedule in section (10). The spring burning season is from March 1 to June 15 and the fall burning season is from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15.
  • Equipment and methods required to be used by the applicant to ensure that the burning is accomplished in the most efficient manner over the shortest period of time to minimize smoke production.
  • The limitations, if any, based on meteorological conditions required before burning may occur. Open burning under permits for yard debris must be limited to the hours and times that limit seasonal domestic yard debris burning permitted in the county where the burning under the letter permit is to occur.
  • Reporting requirements for both starting the fire each day and completion of the requested burning (optional for permits for yard debris).
  • A statement that OAR 340-264-0050 and 340-264-0060 are fully applicable to all burning under the permit.
  • Such other conditions as DEQ considers to be desirable.​

Regional DEQ offices​ can assist you with permitting information.

DEQ will only issue a letter permit on the basis of a written application for disposal of material by burning. Each application for a letter permit must contain the following items:

  • The quantity and type of material proposed to be burned (ex. slash and debris).
  • A list of all alternative disposal methods and potential costs that have been identified or investigated. Examples include chipping, air curtain incinerator and transfer station drop-off.
  • The expected amount of time that will be required to complete the burning (not required for yard debris), including how many hours in accordance with general requirements, prohibitions and weather conditions.
  • The methods proposed to be used to insure complete and efficient combustion of the material.
  • The address, county and fire district location of the proposed burning site.
  • A diagram showing the proposed burning site and the structures and facilities inhabited or used in the vicinity with approximate distances.
  • The expected frequency of the need to dispose of similar materials by burning in the future.
  • Any other information that the applicant considers relevant or DEQ may require.​

If the application is for prescribed burning of standing vegetation for the purpose of creating or restoring wetlands or for promoting or enhancing habitat for indigenous species of plants or animals, the application must also include a citation to the federal law, state law or program requiring or authorizing such conversion or enhancement. The application must also include a statement from the appropriate agency responsible for implementing the law or program that open burning is the most practicable alternative for the conversion or enhancement.​

A "Hardship Permit Application" may be completed on a form supplied by DEQ; and either payment of the appropriate fee pursuant to section (10) or a "waiver request" completed on a form supplied by DEQ. Please contact your local DEQ office for the Hardship Application. ​

Upon receipt of a written application, DEQ may approve the application if it demonstrates that burning is the most appropriate option. DEQ will consider the following circumstances when making a determination.

  • The applicant has demonstrated that all reasonable alternatives have been explored and no practicable alternative method for disposal of the materials exists.
  • The proposed burning will not cause or contribute to significant degradation of air quality.
  • The conditions of the airshed of the proposed burning.
  • The other air pollution sources in the vicinity of the proposed burning.
  • The availability of other methods of disposal including special circumstances or conditions that may impose a hardship on an applicant.
  • The frequency of the need to dispose of similar materials in the past and expected in the future.
  • The applicant's prior violations, if any.
  • The projected effect upon persons and property in the vicinity.
  • Any other relevant factors.

DEQ may deny an application for a letter permit or revoke or suspend an issued letter permit on any of the following grounds:

  • Any material misstatement or omission in the application or a history of such misstatements or omissions by the applicant.
  • Any actual or projected violation of any statute, rule, regulation, order, permit, ordinance, judgment or decree.​

For locations within Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah and Washington counties, where open burning is otherwise prohibited, the following conditions must also be met. Letter permits may be issued only for disposing of

  • Material resulting from emergency occurrences, including but not limited to, floods, storms or oil spills.
  • Material originating as yard debris that has been collected and stored by governmental jurisdictions, provided that no other reasonable means of disposal are available.
  • Yard debris excluding grass clippings and leaf piles, on the property of a private residence where the inability to burn creates a significant hardship due to:
    • An economic burden because the estimated cost of alternative means of yard debris disposal presents a financial hardship in relation to household income and expenses of the applicant;
    • A physical handicap, personal disability, chronic illness, substantial infirmity or other physical limitation substantially inhibiting the ability of the applicant to process or transport yard debris; or
    • Inaccessibility of yard debris, where steepness of terrain or remoteness of the debris site makes access by processing or transportation equipment unreasonable.​

All applications for a letter permit for yard debris must be accompanied by a permit fee payable to DEQ, or approved delegated authority, and become non-refundable upon issuance of the permit. The fee is $20 for a single burning season, spring or fall. The fee is $30 for the calendar year.

DEQ may waive the single season permit fee if the applicant shows that the cost of the yard debris permit presents an extreme financial hardship in relation to the household income and expenses of the applicant.​

Open burn complaints

DEQ needs specific information to follow up on open burn complaints:

  • Address/ intersection
  • Pictures of burning if possible (ideally showing location and what is being burnt)
  • Historical information if applicable

Try to include these and any additional information should be included in the complaint submission.

To submit a complaint about a prohibited burning in the state of Oregon, not in Lane County, please submit a Pollution Complaint.

For complaints inside of Lane County, please refer to the LRAPA Outdoor Burning Program website.