Residential Fireplaces and Burning
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Residential Fireplaces and Burning

Wood burning is regulated when pollution levels rise because the process of burning wood can produce fine particulate matter that can be harmful to your lungs. It can also produce carbon monoxide and other toxins that can harm your health.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department regulates the use of wood burning in residential fireplaces, woodstoves and outdoor burning devices during periods of high particulate matter (dust), carbon monoxide or ozone pollution, when air quality monitoring or forecasting indicates that air quality standards are likely to be exceeded. (See County Ordinance P-26.)

For more information, see the EPA's Burn Wise site or their Residential Wood Heaters site. The EPA also has a list of EPA-certified wood stoves.

Restrictions

When weather conditions occur that trap smoke emissions close to the ground surface (usually during cooler periods during the winter), state forecasters issue a high pollution advisory or HPA. Once that happens, the Air Quality Department Director may issue a No Burn Day restriction prohibiting the use of all fireplaces, woodstoves and outdoor burning devices (including the use of manufactured logs). Restrictions last for a 24-hour period starting at midnight on the day the HPA is issued.

Burn Restriction Advisories

To receive burn restrictions advisories, call (602) 506-6400 for recorded advisory information every day
or
Check the Clean Air Make More Burn Restrictions Advisory page
or

Sign up to receive an Email, Text or Tweet on a No Burn Day:

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How to Report a Violation

Use the On-Line Complaint Form

or

call (602) 372-2703 from 8:00am - 5:00pm Monday through Friday. (Voice mail is available after business hours.)

Fines

Fines range from $50 up to $250 depending on the number of wood burning violations an individual receives per year.

Exemptions

If you need an exemption for your fireplace or woodstove, call (602)506-6010

  • Residential Sole Source of Heat Exemption: If the woodburning device is the sole source of heat or fuel for cooking in the residence, it is exempt from this ordinance. No other oil, natural gas, electricity, or propane furnace or heating systems can be installed in the residence. The resident must have applied for an exemption to this ordinance prior to December 31, 1995. Residential Sole Source of Heat exemptions will not be issued after that date.
  • Temporary Sole Source of Heat Exemption: These exemptions may be issued if the applicant has an economic or health issue. An applicant would need to qualify for financial assistance under the Food Stamps, AHCCCS, or low income energy assistance programs, or have a direct health danger to qualify for this exemption. A Temporary Sole Source of Heat Exemption shall not be issued for more than 150 days.
  • Emergency Exemptions: These exemptions may be issued if the County Control Officer determines that an emergency situation exists. Some examples of emergency situations include inoperable residential heating systems (for reasons other than the actions of the resident) or cases where a resident's heating system has been involuntarily disconnected by a utility company. These exemptions may not be issued for periods greater than one year.
  • Inadequate Alternate Source of Heat Exemption: This exemption may be granted if the residence has a heating system installed (other than a woodburning device), but that system is not the sole source of heat in the residence and is unable to heat the residence to a minimum of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The residence must comply with all applicable building code requirements. This exemption may not be issued after December 31, 1995. However, exemptions that were issued before this date may be renewed on a annual basis.