Backyard Burn Permits
Regulations for open burning on property under Marion County jurisdiction
What is a "Backyard Burn Permit"?
Ordinance #1279, adopted by the Marion County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 30, 2008, regulates and controls specific types of open burning on property located within the Salem-Keizer Urban Growth Boundary (
.gif map or .
pdf map ) and rural property under Marion County jurisdiction. This ordinance establishes standards for burning with a permit as well as prohibitions and exclusions.
What does Ordinance #1279 prohibit?
Open burning on property located within unincorporated areas of the Salem-Keizer Urban Growth Boundary;
No use of burn barrels;
Where allowed, no open burning of yard debris* that causes a nuisance or hazard to public safety;
Where allowed, no open burning of yard debris on days designated as non-burning days by the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality or any local fire district or department;
Where allowed, no open burning of yard debris not originating on the subject property.
Based on current DEQ regulations, commercial businesses are prohibited from backyard burning unless a special burn permit is obtained from DEQ.
* Yard debris is defined as wood, stalk, stem, needle or leaf material from trees, shrubs, plants and lawns.
Are there any exclusions to the prohibition on open burning?
Yes. The prohibition of open burning does not include:
Recreational and ceremonial fires not fueled by waste or yard debris;
Agricultural open burning by an agricultural operation*; or
The operation of any barbecue equipment.
* "Agricultural operation" is defined in Ordinance #1279 as: (a) an activity on land currently used or intended to be used primarily for the purpose of obtaining a profit in money by raising, harvesting and selling crops and selling livestock or poultry, or the produce thereof, and (b) activities conducted by not-for-profit agricultural research organizations.
Are there any permitted exceptions to these prohibitions?
Yes. The prohibition of open burning does not include the following activities, provided that, prior to burning, a permit is issued by Marion County, and all materials to be burned conform to the requirements and/or limitations specified in the permit:
The open burning of yard debris during daylight hours on an owner's property that is more than 2 acres in size or on contiguous properties under the same ownership totaling more than 2 acres in size;
Burning during daylight hours for disease or pest control;
The open burning of yard debris during daylight hours on properties currently classified by the Marion County Assessor as specially assessed farm or timber properties; and
The open burning of yard debris during daylight hours that was created by a natural disaster.
If I qualify under an exception, where do I apply for a permit?
The Marion County Planning Division issues Backyard Burn Permits. You can download a
Backyard Burn Permit application or obtain one from the office. Our goal is to issue the permit the same day you apply. However, depending on the size and duration of your request, it may take longer. The application form requires the following information:
Completed application form;
Site plan showing the location of the proposed burn site;
Written statement explaining your reasons for the request and identifying the materials to be burned, date(s) and time of the burn(s);
Is there a fee for this permit?
Yes. The permit fee is $40 with an annual renewal fee of $25. A permit is good for the current calendar year.
What is the process once a permit application has been submitted?
Planning Division staff will review the application for compliance with Ordinance #1279 and other applicable regulations. Depending on the size and duration of the proposed burn, staff may request comments from other County departments or affected agencies. The application will be approved or conditionally approved if it clearly complies with all regulations. If not, the application will be denied.
If all necessary information is provided at the time the application is submitted, the permit will be approved or denied on the same day, if possible. If not, a copy of permit will be sent to the applicant indicating whether the permit is approved or denied, in approximately 1-10 days.
When can I burn?
Assuming you qualify under one of the exclusions or exceptions listed above and have obtained your Backyard Burn Permit, you are permitted to burn yard debris, only, on Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) authorized burn days during daylight hours of 7:30 a.m. to two hours prior to sunset. Generally, burn season runs from March 1 through June 15 and then again from Oct. 1 or Oct. 15 through Dec. 15 each year.
For daily updates, contact your local fire district's burn information telephone number:
Marion County Fire District #1: (503) 588-6524
Aurora, Hubbard, Monitor, St. Paul, Woodburn: (503) 982-0011
Silverton and Mt. Angel: (877) 982-0011
Jefferson: (877) 982-0011
Aumsville, Stayton, Sublimity, and Santiam Canyon area: (877) 982-0011
What can I burn?
Ordinance #1279 allows only open burning of yard debris which is defined as wood, stalk, stem, needle or leaf material from trees, shrubs, plants and lawns. The Ordinance does not allow open burning of waste which includes garbage, paper, clothing, plastic, and food waste.
What happens if my neighbor is violating these regulations?
This Ordinance is enforced by Marion County Public Works, through the Sheriff's Office Code Enforcement section. When a complaint is received, an Enforcement Officer will conduct an inspection to determine whether a violation is or has occurred. A citation may be issued to any person in violation, which includes fines and civil penalties. For more information on filing a complaint, contact Code Enforcement at (503) 373-4333 or email at
What are the regulations outside the Salem-Keizer UGB?
If you live or own property outside of the Salem-Keizer Urban Growth Boundary, you will need to contact your local fire department for information on their burning regulations and permits.
For more information: