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  • Frequently Asked Questions - Open Burning

    What Fire Districts regulate open burning in their own districts?

    The following Fire Districts are delegated the authority for open burning permits, and a permit from PDEQ is not required:
    • Arivaca (520-398-2003)
    • Avra Valley (520-682-3256)
    • City of Tucson (520-791-4512)
    • Golder Ranch (520-825-9001)
    • Mt. Lemmon (520-576-1201)
    • Picture Rocks (520-682-4960)
    • Three Points (520-822-1086)

    If you live within one of these Fire Districts, please contact them directly regarding Open Burning Permits.

    What outdoor fires do not require a permit?

    Fires that are used only for cooking food, providing warmth for human beings, recreational purposes, branding of animals, orchard heaters, and the proper disposal of flags are exempt, and do not require an Open Burning Permit.  For information on other types of exempt burning, review the Pre-Application Guidance.

    What am I allowed to burn?

    Vegetative material, but not including household waste or prohibited materials.  Prohibited materials include oleanders, plastic and rubber products, chemically treated wood, tires, and waste petroleum products such as waste oil.  For a complete list of prohibited materials, review the Pre-Application Guidance.

    Why can't garbage be burned?

    Burning garbage is illegal, and the smoke released can cause severe health problems and release dangerous chemicals into the air.

    When am I allowed to conduct open burning?

    The fire cannot be ignited before one hour after sunrise and must be extinguished by two hours before sunset.

    What other restrictions apply to open burning?

    Permitted fires cannot be allowed to disperse smoke into populated areas, create a public nuisance or affect public safety. Burning must be conducted at least 50 feet from any structure.

    Why does PDEQ regulate open burning?

    PDEQ regulates open burning to ensure that Pima County meets and maintains the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and to prevent the illegal burning of garbage.

    Where can I go to apply in person for an Open Burning Permit?

    PDEQ is located at 33 N. Stone Avenue (southwest corner of Stone Avenue & Pennington Street) on the 7th floor.

    Who can I call for more information?

    Contact PDEQ at (520) 724-7400 for additional information.
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    Department of Environmental Quality

    33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone: (520) 724-7400
    Fax: (520) 838-7432

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