Air Quality Division: Permits: Permit Classifications: Guidelines for Open Burning

For what purposes can you burn?

The Permits Section of the Air Quality Divisoion issues permits for open burning for certain purposes which are outlined in R18-2-602 of the Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.). Specifically, A.A.C. R18-2-602 states that open outdoor fires may be permitted only for the purposes of weed abatement, prevention of a fire hazard, or instruction in the methods of fighting fires.

How can you burn?

Material to be burned shall be dry, readily combustible, and placed in any of the following arrangements in such quantities that it will be completely consumed within the permitted burn hours listed below:

  • Piled
  • Collected in a pit
  • Placed in an approved waste burner
  • Ignited in place

Piled or pit contained material must have a minimum clearance of 50 feet from any structure.

Start your burn using items such as matches, flares, or hand held torches fueled by liquified petroleum gas such as propane or butane. You may not start your fire using tires, tar paper, oil, or liquified petroleum products such as gasoline or diesel. You may not use any ignition device that causes the production of black smoke.

When can you burn?

You are not allowed to burn at night. You are only allowed to burn between the following hours:

  • Year round: Start igniting no earlier than one hour after sunrise; and
  • Year round: Fire must be extinguished two hours before sunset.

Additional responsibilities?

You must notify the local fire fighting agency or private service provider, if the service provider is a delegated authority, prior to each open burning. Such agency may require you to obtain a permit from them before being allowed to burn and may prohibit open burning during periods of smoke dispersion, excessive visibility impairment, or during periods of extreme fire danger.

You may not open burn when any air stagnation advisory, as issued by the National Weather Service, is in effect in the area of the burn or during periods when smoke can be expected to accumulate to the extent that it will significantly impair visibility in Class I areas. Such visibility impairment can be anticipated during periods of heavy regional haze and/or calm wind conditions.

Open burning shall be conducted only during wind conditions which prevent dispersion of smoke into populated areas, do not cause a visibility impairment on traveled roads or airports to the extent that a safety hazard results, do not create a public nuisance, and do not cause uncontrollable spreading of the fire.

You may be required by the Director or the Director's Designee to extinguish or abstain from open burning during periods of inadequate smoke dispersion, excessive visibility impairment or at other times when public health or safety could be adversely affected.

You must be present at all times when open burning. Do not set a fire and leave. You may be responsible for any damage caused by a fire started by your open burning. You may be subject to civil penalties from damages caused by fires started by your open burning. You must have available any necessary equipment (i.e., water supply, water hose, shovel, sand, etc.) to control the burn and to put out the fire if the need arises. You must completely extinguish the fire before leaving it unattended.

You must have a copy of the burn permit on-site during open burning, to show that you have authorization to conduct open burning. The permit shall not be construed to relieve you from liability from resulting damages or the obligation to comply with other applicable laws, regulations, or ordinances.

You must fill out the 'Reporting Form' and 'Certification of Truth, Accuracy, and Completeness', included with your permit, and return it to ADEQ or the agency which issued your permit by March 31st of each year.

What types of Emission Reduction Techniques (ERTs) you should be utilizing to minimize emissions from the fire?

  • Minimize the material to be burned;
  • Prevent fire from spreading by lining the area where open burn is conducted and application of fire retardant foam, or water;
  • Allow the material to dry before burning;
  • Minimize soil content in slash piles and by constructing piles under dry soil conditions or by using hand piling methods;
  • Burn in piles;
  • Use a back fire (burn in the opposite direction of wind) when grass is burned;
  • Use an air curtain destructor operated pursuant to manufacturer specifications and meeting applicable state or local opacity requirements;
  • Extinguish the smoldering burns;
  • Burn before litter falls;
  • Burn prior to precipitation

Types of material you are NOT to burn with an open burning permit:

  1. All plastic materials such as:
    • bottles for household chemicals
    • grocery and retail bags
  2. Waste petroleum products:
    • waste crankcase oil
    • transmission oil
    • used oil
    • oil filters
  3. Hazardous material containers that contained:
    • pesticides
    • lead compounds
    • cadmium compounds
    • mercury compounds
    • arsenic compounds
  4. Tar Paper
  5. Poison Oak
  6. Asbestos
  7. Poison Ivy
  8. Poison Sumac
  9. Oleanders
  10. Aerosol Spray Cans
  11. Flammable Liquids
  12. Antifreeze
  13. Explosives or Ammunition
  14. Polyester
  15. Thermal Insulation
  16. Tires
  17. Electrical Wire Insulation
  18. Batteries
  19. Hazardous Waste Products:
    • paints
    • pesticides
    • cleaners
    • stains and varnishes
  20. Asphalt Shingles