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Outdoor Burning
Burn Ban Lifted 9/29/2016

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is responsible for establishing and enforcing the regulations pursuant to open burning and air quality. If you wish to report an illegal burn, smoke, or air quality issue; file an online complaint with DEQ or call them directly at 888-997-7888.

Outdoor burning is dependent upon where you live, the time of year, and weather conditions. Please read the following rules below prior to burning.

1. Backyard burning is NOT permitted inside the DEQ Burn Ban boundary. Backyard burning outside the DEQ Burn Ban area is permitted only during designated burn seasons and on DEQ approved burn days. Call us at 503.649.8577 if you need to verify whether your address is outside the burn ban boundary.

2. The designated burn seasons are March 1 - June 15 and October 1 - December 15. Persons wishing to conduct open burning operations should call 503-259-1789 or check the Willamette Valley Open Burning Announcement website on the day they wish to burn. The phone line and website will confirm whether it is a DEQ authorized burn day, including approved hours.

3. Backyard burning includes yard debris, trimmings, and clippings only. Dimensional lumber, trash, or other non-yard debris items cannot be burned at any time. Persons must ensure that combustible material is dried to the best extent possible. This includes covering the combustible material to protect from moisture and loosely stacking the material to eliminate dirt, rocks, or other noncombustible material to promote an adequate air supply within the burning pile. Source: OAR 340-264-0070

4. Backyard burning is only allowed during daylight hours and within a specified distance from structures. Open burning shall not be conducted within 50 feet of any structure or other combustible material. Conditions, which could cause the fire to spread within 50 feet of a structure, shall be eliminated prior to ignition. The exception is clearance from structures and other combustible materials may be reduced to not less than 15 feet when burning is conducted in an approved burning appliance such as a burn barrel, or not less than 25 feet when the burn pile size is 1 cubic yard or less in diameter. Source 2010 Oregon Fire Code 307.

5. If a fire starts to spread to other combustible materials or threatens structures, call 911 immediately.

Agricultural Burning
Commercial agricultural burning is allowed only on designated Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) burn days, during approved hours. Agriculture burning information can be found at the Willamette Valley Open Burning Announcement website each day. The announcement will confirm whether it is a ODF authorized day, including approved hours.

Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ is responsible for establishing and enforcing the regulations pursuant to open burning and air quality. If you wish to report an illegal burn, smoke, or air quality issue; file an online complaint or call DEQ at 888-997-7888. Individuals found in violation of the regulations above can be fined between $1,000 and $2,500 (per event) by DEQ. Individuals may also liable for any property loss damage and suppression costs resulting from a burning incident.

TVF&R responds to fires that are a threat to people and property. If a fire is threatening nearby structures, vegetation, or other combustible materials, call 911 immediately.

Washington County Adopts New Rules to Reduce Wood Smoke
The Washington County Board of Commissioners recently approved new rules to raise awareness of wood smoke as a health issue and prevent unnecessary burning when the air quality is particularly poor. The new ordinance went into effect on Nov. 6, 2015.

There are two parts to the ordinance.
1. The first addresses the use of fireplaces, wood stoves, and wood stove inserts by residents who live in unincorporated Washington County. The ordinance allows the county to issue air-quality advisories between Nov. 1 and March 1. Advisories will be issued with input from air-quality-monitoring experts at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

A "red day" means that air quality is unhealthy and that no fireplace or wood stove use is allowed, unless a resident is exempt (for example, if the resident relies solely on wood heat and/or is low-income, among other criteria). The ordinance does not restrict the use of pellet stoves. A "yellow day" means air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, and a "green day" indicates that air quality is healthy.

Residents are encouraged to sign up to receive air quality and wood burning alerts for red days at www.publicalerts.org. Washington County will also post the daily status on its website.

2. The second part of the ordinance prohibits yard debris burning year round for anyone who lives in unincorporated Washington County and receives yard debris pick up from a hauler. This new rule does not apply to agricultural burning. It also does not restrict recreational fires, such as backyard fire pits or chimineas.

The county is developing a free "hardship permit" for circumstances where burning may be the only possible option for disposing of yard debris.

Residents can enter their addresses into a map linked at www.co.washington.or.us/air to see if this part of the ordinance applies to them.

For more information, check out the Wood Smoke Ordinance Fact Sheet in English or Spanish.