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Burning Activities

Open Burning and Burning in Indoor Fireplaces and at Commercial and Institutional Establishments

The Maricopa County Air Quality Open Burn Program regulates all open outdoor fires. The purpose of this program is to limit the emissions of air contaminants that are produced from open burning. Any burning of material outdoors (where a flue or chimney is not used) is generally prohibited unless it is a process that is exempt from the general requirement (see Exemptions below).

Rule 314 was amended March 2008 and includes new provisions.

* Key changes include:

  1. Certain types of permitted and non-permitted open burning will no longer be allowed from May 1 - September 30 of each year in Area A. Area A is defined in Rule 314.
  2. Burning in indoor fireplaces that use any fuels other than gaseous fuels including gas logs is prohibited during restricted burn periods in Maricopa County at commercial and institutional establishments.

Burn permits are only issued for certain activities which will be described below. After a person has been issued a burn permit they are required to call the Air Quality Department for permission before beginning to burn. Permission to burn is only given after certain conditions have been met that are outlined in the Burn Permit section of this web page.

A few common activities that a burn permit may be issued for are listed below: (* denotes activities that are now prohibited from May 1 through September 30 of every year). See Rule 314 for a full listing of all of the burning activities.

  1. * Open fires for destruction of tumble weeds for the prevention of fire hazards where other reasonable methods are not available.
  2. Open fires using an air curtain destructor for the burning of certain material, including citrus trees and vegetation but only for agricultural operations, not pre-construction activities. See the appendix to Rule 314 for more information about air curtain destructors and burn permits.

A few of the common burning activities that are exempt from the requirements to obtain a burn permit are listed below: (* denotes activities that are also prohibited May 1 through September 30 of every year). See Rule 314 for a complete listing of all of the activities.

  1. Cooking for immediate human consumption.
  2. * Warmth for human beings.
  3. * Recreational purposes, where the burning material is clean, dry wood or charcoal.
  4. * Branding animals.
  5. * Orchard heaters for frost protection in farming or nurseries.
  6. * Woodburning chimineas and outdoor fire pits.