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FIR-3.08 - Outdoor Burning & Burning Guidelines

Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Fire & Rescue Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority


Attachment No. 1:  Outdoor Burning Letter  (PDF Document, 132 kb)


A. This policy is established May 12, 1993.

B. Purpose: to clarify procedures for issuing burning permits and dealing with illegal burns and to provide a guideline to the Fire Marshal when preparing to declare a ban on burning.

C. This policy applies within all areas in which Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has authority.

D. Burning restrictions vary depending on location, weather, type of burning, and equipment used. This policy prescribes requirements for and prohibitions of open burning for areas in PF&R’s jurisdiction.



1. 2007 Portland International Fire Code (PIFC) Section 307

2. PF&R Operational Guideline 6.12

3. Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) DEQ, Chapter 340, 340-264-0070 & -0130

4. OAR Chapter 837, 837-110-0090

5. 2007 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) Chapter 21


1. Agricultural Open Burning

a. The open burning of any waste or material actually generated or used in the production or sale of an agricultural commodity.

b. DOES NOT INCLUDE: waste from processing or manufacturing operations, wet garbage, plastic, wire insulation, automobile parts, asphalt, petroleum products, petroleum treated material, rubber products, animal remains, or animal or vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, or service of food, or of any other material which normally emits dense smoke or noxious odors.

2. Ceremonial Burning

a. A fire built of dry wood for an organized function under permit from the Fire Marshal’s Office (e. g. Homecoming game, religious functions, etc).

b. OAR 340-264-0030 (18), (19), (29), (a), (b), (c), 340-264-0040 (1), PF&R Code Enforcement Policy C-8 (Auditor’s reference FIR 3.08).

3. Domestic Open Burning

a. Open burning of domestic waste, such as household waste, paper, cardboard, clothing, yard debris or other materials generated in or around a dwelling of 4 or fewer family living units.

b. Other categories of ‘open burning’ include Commercial, Construction, Demolition, and Industrial. These categories of burning are prohibited.

4. Recreational Burning

a. Burning clean, cured firewood in a pit, pan, or outdoor fireplace prepared for this purpose, as in a traditional campfire setting. This fire must be no larger than 3 foot diameter and 2 foot high.

b. This type of burning is legal within all areas, but is subject to all of the other general rules and officer discretion. A recreational fire located in a pit shall be no closer than 25 feet from a structure.

c. Fires contained in fireplace-type receptacles or Chimineeahs shall be no closer than 15 feet from a structure or the distance listed in the manufacture’s instruction, whichever is less.

d. When required by the Fire Marshal, outdoor burning device stacks shall be equipped with a spark-arresting, 12-gauge wire mesh screen with openings of not less than 3/8” nor more than 1/2”.


For Emergency Operations (EOPS) response procedures, please review Operational Guideline 6.12.

A. Fires NOT Addressed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Rules

1. Barbecue equipment.

2. Fires permitted by any public agency, when set or permitted in the performance of official duty.

3. Fires used pursuant to a permit for the purpose of instruction of employees of private industrial concerns in methods of fire fighting. An approved instructor must be present. OAR 340-264-0040.

4. Recreational burning as defined here.

5. Ceremonial burning under permit from the FMO.

B. Procedures for Permitting Open Burning

1. Burning permits are all 300.05 series forms. There is no charge for these permits.

2. Recreational Fires

a. Recreational fires do not require permits.

b. The FMO does, although, write courtesy permits for citizens who drop by the office and would like acknowledgement that they have done their due diligence in assuring the legality and safety of the recreational fire.

3. Ceremonial Fires/Bon Fires

a. The FMO writes permits for ceremonial fires/bon fires. Be guided by PIFC section 307.4.1 and the instructions listed on the permit.

b. Written authorization from the Property Owner is required. This authorization needs to be signed, dated, and presented when applying for the permit.

4. Domestic Open Burning

a. Domestic Open Burning is regulated by the DEQ. The City of Portland is extensively inside of the DEQ’s banned area.

b. There is, although, a small pocket north of Sandy Boulevard, and another south of Powell (near 182nd Avenue in both cases) that are outside the burning ban boundary.

c. The FMO writes permits for the small pockets of areas within the City of Portland that are outside the burning ban boundary. See the permit for restrictions and safety precautions and the map in the open burning notebook for boundary information.

5. Sweat Lodge

a. The FMO issues permits for sweat lodges. Be guided by the stipulations printed on the permit.

6. Agricultural Burning

a. The FMO writes permits for agricultural burning. Be guided by the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) language in the open burning notebook, PIFC section 307, and the information printed on the Agricultural Burning permit.

C. Actions for Non-Permitted or Unsafe Fires

1. EOPS Companies will record appropriate information on the Open Burning Violation Log Sheet (Form 300.53) in the Burn Violation Notebook on the apparatus.

2. Upon return to quarters complete the Open Burning Violation Referral (form 300.51) and e-mail it to ‘FMO Company Referrals’ and e-mail it to the DEQ at

3. Upon receipt of the Open Burning Violation Referral (300.51) the FMO will track the referral in their system.


A. When weather conditions remain dry, hot, or windy, or any combination of these, for an extended period of time, it may be necessary for the Fire Marshal to impose either a limited or total ban on outdoor burning.

B. The following conditions shall be used to determine when outdoor burning will be limited or banned:

1. Temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit or above

2. Relative Humidity reaches 30% or below

3. Wind speed reaches 15 miles per hour or above.

Attachment No. 1:  Outdoor Burning Letter  (PDF Document, 132 kb)



Originally adopted by Fire Marshal as Fire Prevention Division Policy Manual Document CE C-8, effective May 12, 1993 and revised May 20, 2003.

Filed for inclusion in PPD August 18, 2003.
Revised administrative rule adopted by Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue and filed for inclusion in PPD July 31, 2008.

Revised administrative rule adopted by Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue and filed for inclusion in PPD August 26, 2009.