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Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Outdoor Burning & Recreational Fire - Know the Regulations


Sometimes there is nothing more relaxing than sitting around a small campfire on a summer evening. However, because it does pose a fire danger, it is important to be safe while having recreational fires.

Portland Fire and Rescue (PF&R) has received many questions from citizens on what constitutes a safe fire and what is and isn’t legal when dealing with recreational fires. It is important to know these requirements so outdoor burning can remain safe and enjoyable.

There are a few types of outdoor burning that is legal within Portland city limits. This includes cooking with standard barbecue equipment, ceremonial fires for large gatherings or institutions (with a permit from the Fire Marshal) and recreational fires. This is defined as burning clean, dry, cord type firewood as in a standard campfire setting. The fire must be less than 3 feet in diameter with pile less than 2 feet in height. These recreational files shall be no closer than 25 feet from a structure, this includes decks. In addition, a responsible person should be in attendance at all times with a garden hose with nozzle that is turned on and ready to go – this can serve as the best fire extinguisher!

Improper use of outdoor burning equipment does cause a significant amount of fires each summer. With this in mind, PF&R reminds you to please be safe while enjoying these fires.

Click here to learn more about agricultural open burning, ceremonial burning, domestic open burning, and recreational burning. If you have further questions, feel free to contact Portland Fire & Rescue at (503) 823-3700.

Blog courtesy of Jessica Budge, one of PF&R's Superstar Summer Interns!


  Portland Fire & Rescue We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  August 4, 2010


Add a Comment


James Bennett

June 26, 2015 at 6:32 PM

We wanted to report what seemed like illegal burning in our neighborhood, near 32nd and sw Illinois st, but could find no number to call. This burning happens in summer time when it is hot and our windows are open. Wife has asthma, so it's no laughing matter. How can we get it investigated and stopped? Thanks, JB


Tod Blatherton

June 29, 2016 at 12:59 PM

I can sympathize with James Bennett. My next door neighbor installed a fire pit near our shared property line, uphill from my house. Just when the weather gets hot and I need to open windows, the smoke comes pouring down the hill into my house. The fires start around 7-9 p.m. and sometimes continue burning until 1 a.m. Then, the smoldering remnants continue to smoke until 6 a.m. or so. Is this legal? How can I resolve this, other than closing windows tight and running AC all night long?


Liz Miller

August 15, 2016 at 5:14 PM

When is a fire pit not allowed. My cousins in another state have nuisance ordinances. Well here on our street we also have a fire pit happy neighbor. My husband has COPD and the smoke when he comes home from work or let's the dog out makes him Ill.

We can't walk in the neighborhood. When we open back door to let dog out smoke comes in, our garage is smoke filled. My husband got pneumonia last year after one night that our home filled with smoke and no doors or windows were opened. There has to be some recourse when people are made I'll because others smoke trespasses into their space? What is the law?


In Human

September 10, 2016 at 7:09 PM

what state is Portland in? denial is the correct answer. ..Portland is full of freaks go home go home go home we don't want you here


archie cooper

March 29, 2017 at 10:50 PM

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