Burning within the Fire District boundaries is regulated by both the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Fire District.  DEQ rules can be found at the links below.

If you wish to burn, you must call (503) 472-3344 to check burn hours for that particular day.

The Fire District will respond to illegal burn calls to ascertain if the fire is "hostile".  A hostile fire is one that is an immediate threat to life or property.  If the illegal burn is deemed not to be hostile, either the caller or the Fire District may report the burn to DEQ as it would be violating air quality rules.  DEQ may levy a fine of up to $10,000 per day.

Open Burning Guidelines
Backyard Burning
Agricultural Burning
Materials That Can't Be Burned
Alternatives To Open Burning
Specific Regulations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Burning Guidelines

To protect air quality, DEQ has the authority under state law to prohibit open burning anywhere in the state on a day-to-day basis. State air quality rules which govern open burning are found in Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 340, Division 23.

"OPEN BURNING" includes any burning outdoors.  A fire in a "burn barrel" is open burning.  So is burning debris in an outdoor fireplace or backyard incinerator.  Other examples include burning piles of yard debris, burning stumps to clear land and burning construction debris or the remains of demolished structures

It's against the law to conduct any open burning that:

  • unreasonably interferes with enjoyment of life or property 

  • creates a public or private nuisance

  • is a hazard to public safety

Back to top

 

 

 

Backyard Burning

(Domestic and Yard Debris)

Open burning associated with a residence ("back-yard burning") is prohibited in and around the Portland metropolitan area, unless a hardship is demonstrated and DEQ has issued a "hardship permit". Contact your local fire district or the Portland office of DEQ to find out if you are in this prohibited area.

In most of the Willamette Valley where backyard burning is not prohibited, open burning of yard debris only is usually allowed on a seasonal basis. The seasonal restrictions include whole fire districts near Portland and the Eugene-Springfield area of Lane County.  Restrictions also apply in Oakridge, West Fir, and up to six miles beyond the city limits in the Salem-Keizer area.  In and around other Willamette Valley communities of 1,000 or more, seasonal restrictions apply out to three miles beyond the city limits.

Seasonal burning in most of the Willamette Valley is limited to "burn days" authorized by DEQ during the spring (March 1-June 15) and fall (October 1- December 15) seasons.  In central Lane County, open burning is authorized by the Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority (LRAPA) from October 1 through June 15.  Open burning is prohibited in the Ashland, Medford and Grants Pass area from November through February.  Be sure to check with your local fire district for details.

Back to top

 

 

 

Agricultural Burning

Material burned under an agricultural permit is limited to bonafide agricultural waste (other than prohibited materials listed under materials that can't be burned). Agricultural waste is material generated by an agricultural operation that uses, or intends to use, land primarily for the purpose of obtaining a profit in money by raising, harvesting and selling crops or raising and selling animals (including poultry) or the produce thereof.

The question of whether a particular activity is or is not "agricultural" is a question of land use or intended land use and the profit motive. The primary purpose must be an intention to "earn a profit in money by selling crops or produce."  The actual size of the operation or the profit actually realized now or in the past is not of primary concern in deciding if an operation is agricultural. The operation must be large enough to have a profit motive as a reasonable objective, i.e., large enough not to be confused with a personal garden or hobby.

Agricultural burning must be an integral and necessary part of the agricultural activity.  The agricultural activity might include clearing of land, the construction and use of barns, sheds or other farm buildings, but does not include the construction and use of dwellings in which the farmer or workers live.  Burning associated with a dwelling is considered to be domestic burning, backyard burning or burning of yard debris, and is not part of the farming operation.

Agricultural burning can be categorized into two general types: field burning and all other burning.  Field burning is limited to the burning of residue left from the harvest of a seed crop, usually grass.  Field burning is tightly regulated in the Willamette Valley by a special set of rules and a program operated jointly by DEQ and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  Field burning involves registering acres and paying fees.

Back to top

 

 

 

Materials That Can't Be Burned

DEQ regulations prohibit open burning of the following materials at any time, anywhere in Oregon:

  • Rubber products
  • Tires (Includes burning tires to start an approved agricultural waste fire.)
  • Plastic
  • Wet garbage
  • Petroleum and petroleum-treated materials
  • Asphalt or industrial waste
  • Any material that creates dense smoke or noxious odors.

In or near cities of greater than 1,000 population in the Willamette Valley, and 4,000 population elsewhere, the DEQ prohibits open burning of waste from commercial establishments, construction and demolition activity, and land clearing.

Back to top

 

 

 

Alternatives To Open Burning

  • Composting or chipping on site

  • Organize a Neighborhood Cleanup Day

  • Curb-side pick up

  • Take to central recycling center or landfill

  • Reclaim used lumber

  • Develop use as fuel for steam generator (municipal project)

Back to top

 

 

 

Specific Regulations

Open burning for agricultural purposes is usually allowed anywhere in the state, unless air quality or fire safety concerns restrict or prohibit burning on a given day.  See under Agricultural Burning for more information.

Slash burning (burning debris from logging) is limited to burning on forest lands for forest management and is usually managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry.  It is not the clearing of forest land for any other purpose.  Each day, the DEQ analyzes air quality and weather data to determine if ventilation is sufficient to allow open burning in the Willamette Valley and notifies the State Fire Marshal.  The Fire Marshal forwards this information to all fire districts in the valley.  This notice applies to the Willamette Valley only.

Individual fire districts permit burning and may prohibit open burning, based on local fire safety or air quality concerns.  Always contact your local fire department to find out if burning is authorized on a particular day.  You can contact the DEQ or LRAPA, as appropriate, to clarify other questions about your area.

Back to top

   
 
 

Amity Fire District   |  401 Trade St., Amity, OR  97101   |   Tel. 503-835-2311   Fax. 503-835-3780