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  • Open Burning

    Open burning is the burning of materials such as trees, brush, leaves, grass and other debris where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air without passing through a chimney or stack. Air pollution from open burning can cause serious health problems, obscure visibility, or damage the environment. PDEQ regulates open burning to address these concerns. PDEQ rules require a permit for open burning, with the exception of campfires, barbeques, and small fires for warmth.

    Who needs an Open Burning Permit?

    Find out if your open burning requires a permit by reviewing the Pre-Application Guidance information in the tab below. Some Fire Districts are delegated authority for Open Burning Permits within their districts, and a permit from PDEQ is not required. Additional information is available on these Fire Districts.

    How to apply for an Open Burning Permit

    If your open burning requires a permit, you can apply for the permit in person or by mail/fax. Cash, check, debit/credit Mastercard and Visa are accepted forms of payment. 

    Permit Expiration

    Residential open burning permits are valid for 30 days.  Construction/Agricultural open burning permits expire 90 days after being issued.

    Post-Burn Report

    Following the open burning, please print, complete and submit the Open Burning Report to PDEQ.

    How much does the permit cost?

    Permit fees depend on whether the open burning is residential or construction/agricultural. The cost of each permit was updated January 15, 2021 and can be determined from the Fee Schedule & Definitions.

    What are the Open Burning Rules and Requirements?

    Find out what is allowed by the Open Burning Rules, which are contained in Pima County Code Title 17. See the Open Burning Permit Requirements.

    Report a Complaint

    If you are observing open burning which does not appear to be in accordance with the open burning rules, File a Complaint with PDEQ.

    FAQs

    Find answers to most Frequently Asked Questions concerning open burning.

    Are you planning to conduct one of the following?

    • Residential, construction, or agricultural burning
    • Prescribed burn on private lands without assistance of a federal or state land manager
    • A fire set or permitted by a public officer in the performance of official duty for the purpose of weed abatement or prevention of fire hazard
    • An open outdoor fire of dangerous material because the material is too dangerous to store and transport*
    • An open outdoor fire of household waste in an approved waste burner where household waste is generated on-site on farms or ranches of 40 acres or more or where the nearest dwelling unit is at least 500 feet away and where no household waste collection or disposal service is available*
    • An open outdoor fire using an air curtain destructor? (See Definitions below for assistance in determining the answer.) 
    • The address or parcel where the burn will be conducted is within the jurisdiction of the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) and not within the jurisdiction of a delegated Fire District

              (* Approval from the Director of the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality is required.)

    If all of the above apply then an Open Burning permit is required from PDEQ. 

    Open outdoor fire is not exempt from a permit because:

    • The fire will not be used only for cooking of food, providing warmth for human beings, recreational purposes, branding of animals, orchard heaters for the purpose of frost protection in farming or nursery operations, or the proper disposal of flags under 4 U.S.C. 1. § 8
    • The fire is not set or permitted by any public officer for control of an active wildfire or instruction on the method of fighting fires
    • The fire is not set or permitted by the control officer of Department of Agriculture for the purpose of disease and pest prevention in an organized, area-wide control of an epidemic or infestation affecting livestock or crops
    • The fire is not a prescribed burn set by or assisted by the federal government or any of its departments, agencies, or agents, or the state or any of its agencies, departments, or political subdivisions.

    If the address or parcel where the burn will be conducted is NOT within the jurisdiction of the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) and IS within the jurisdiction of a delegated Fire District; please contact them directly if you intend to conduct open burning within their districts.

    • 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)
    • Rincon Valley (520-647-3760)
    • Three Points (520-822-1086)

    Apply and Pay Online

    To apply and pay online, simply complete the application in the link below and enter credit card information (Visa, Mastercard). You will print and save your permit and receipt at your convenience. 

    Online Permitting Portal (See DEQ Create an Application) https://permits.pima.gov/acaprod/ 

    PDF instructions for online application process


    Apply In Person

    To apply in person, you may download and print the application and complete it prior to visiting our office.

    To complete the application, you should know the name and phone number of your Fire District, and also the street address, township/range/section, parcel number, or latitude/longitude identifying the location of the property where the burning will occur.

    For applications submitted in person, payment may be made at the front desk and the permit will be issued immediately.  PDEQ is located at 33 N. Stone Avenue (southwest corner of Stone Avenue & Pennington Street), 7th Floor.  Payment can be made by credit card (Mastercard or Visa), cash or check.

    Apply by Mail or Fax

    To apply by email, mail or fax, you may download and print the application.

    Mail or fax - Download and complete the application.  Mail or fax to:

    Pima County Department of Environmental Quality
    33 N. Stone Avenue
    Suite 700
    Tucson, AZ  85701
    Fax:  (520) 838-7432

    PDEQ will call or email you when the application is received.  You may provide payment at that time by credit card or at a later date by any of the following methods:

    • Provide payment by phone using a credit card by calling (520) 724-7400
    • Pay in person at 33 N. Stone Avenue, Suite 700 (7th Floor) using cash, check or credit card
    • Pay by mailing a check to the address shown above

    PDEQ will email you your permit if a valid email address is provided, otherwise your permit and receipt will be mailed to you.  If you pay in person, your permit and receipt may be obtained immediately at the front desk.

    Fee Schedule for Open Burning Permits

    Use the Fee Schedule to determine the cost for the specific burning you will be conducting. Fees for Open Burning Permits are based on:

    • Whether the burning is residential or construction/agricultural

    • Table 17.12.530
      OPEN BURNING PERMIT FEE SCHEDULES
      Sub-schedule Permit Activity Permit Fee
      A Residential Burning $30
      B Construction/Agricultural Burning $100
    NOTE:
    1. Sub-schedule for identification only.
    2. The term of a residential burning permit shall not exceed three (3) consecutive or nonconsecutive days within a 30-day period.
    3. The term of a construction or agricultural burning permit shall not exceed 90 days, with no limitation on days of burning within the 90-day term.

    Cash, Check, Debit/Credit Mastercard or Visa Accepted

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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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