You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

When You Can Burn, and What You Can/Can’t Burn in Maricopa County

October 18, 2016

For better or for worse, we are well beyond the wild and free days of the frontier. The days of settling in a log cabin with a wood burning stove and fireplaces are long past us. Ever since caveman days, which is to say as long as human beings have been around, people have made fireplaces (also known as a hearths) the center of their homes. It creates a central place to congregate, a place of warmth and light that everyone can share in. In the frontier days we were just discussing, fireplaces and stoves were essential, not just for comfort, but for survival! There were also no rules.

Times have changed quite a bit, haven’t they? Homes these days still frequently feature fireplaces, but they sure are not necessary for survival. Instead, they are for comfort and style. The frontier days of unregulated burning are also over. Today, we are going to discuss burn regulations in Maricopa County.

  • Daily Burn Restrictions -- Daily burn restrictions can be put in place due to a number of factors, although they are primarily influenced by air quality. To find out if there are any burn restrictions or to learn about daily air quality, just visit the Maricopa Country Air Quality Department homepage.

  • What is Prohibited -- Burning household or yard waste is strictly prohibited. This is because it can create dangerous air-born pollutions and degrade air quality. The best way to dispose of yard waste is to contact your local waste disposal agency.

  • Indoor Burns -- Here is the good news, you are free to burn in indoor fireplaces using gas fuel whenever you want! Here is the one restriction: you cannot burn using non-gas fuel on burn restriction days. Before you throw a log in the ole’ fireplaces, just visit the above link to check the daily air quality report. If there is no daily restriction, feel free to burn away!

  • Outdoor Burns that Require a Permit -- In Maricopa County, we have a specifically marked area call “Area A.” Various burn restrictions apply specifically to this area. 

From May 1st to September 30th, burning to clear scrub vegetation or to destroy tumbleweeds is not permitted in Area A.

During the same period of time in Area A, burning IS permitted for all of the following reasons: control undergrowth for fire hazard prevention, fire fighter training, watershed rehabilitation, pest prevention, agricultural disease, clearing agriculture banks or fences rows.

Of course, all of these burns require specific permits.

  • Outdoor Burns that Do Not Require a Permit -- While the following activities do not require a permit, many of them do require that you notify your local fire department that a burn is going to be taking place. Burns are permitted all year long for cooking, protecting orchards from frost, proper flag disposal, fire extinguisher training, fire fighter training, and for theatrical performances such as concerts.

Related Reading