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Backyard Burning

Backyard Burning season is closed through the month of February. Agricultural burning is still permitted, subject to DEQ restrictions.

Please note that Agricultural Burning and 'Slash' Burning is separate from Backyard Burning and it has its own burning rules and times.  Slash Burning is managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry 541.929.3266.

The DEQ has a website with information specific to Benton County and obtaining a permit for certain types of backyard burns (and a list of materials that may never be burned).  Click here to open the website; choose Benton, and answer the questions about where you live in relationship to the city limits of Philomath or Corvallis.  Smoke and other pollution complaints are managed by DEQ - click here to open their complaints webpage.

You may also wish to receive the Willamette Valley Open Burn Announcement daily advisory by email.  Simply follow the directions on the website.  Please note that there may be local restrictions for our County and/or Department - that information will be on this website (for example, burn bans).

Oregon Open Burning Guide (a publication from the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality)

Burning Regulations in the Willamette Valley (a publication from the Oregon Department of Agriculture)

Tips for Safe Burning

  • Fire needs to be in a designated fire pit or landscaped area.

  • Make sure there is a responsible person present constantly.

  • Have a fire extinguisher, water, or sand within easy reach to extinguish or control the fire.

  • Keep the fire smaller than 3 feet in diameter and don't let flames rise higher than 2 feet.

  • Extinguish the fire completely (cool to touch).

If the fire becomes a hazard to life or property, it must be extinguished immediately.  Drown the fire with water and make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. The fire must be constantly attended until fully extinguished.  When in doubt - call 9-1-1.

Recreational Fires

A recreational fire is a fire at your residence that is used for the purpose of cooking, warming, or similar recreation. It is not backyard debris burning which is regulated by the DEQ.  Please note that there may be days when all burning is prohibited (the exception is BBQ grills).

Recreational Fires may be subject to burn bans in extreme fire danger conditions. If you are going to have a recreational fire on your property, we request that you complete the Recreational Burn Waiver and follow the above listed Tips for Safe Burning.  If you have questions about this, please call us at 541.360.0030. If you are outside the city limits, you may want to check with ODF to see if they have recommendations or requirements for burning or machinery usage in your area.

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Do I need a permit for my recreational fire?
Yes — Just follow the guidelines. You don't even have to call and tell us you are having a recreational fire.  However, a permit and site visit is required for large bonfires.

Can I build a permanent fire pit on my private property? 
Yes — the dimensions should be no larger than 3 feet inside diameter.  It should be made of rock, brick or similar non-combustible materials.

What am I allowed to burn in my recreational fire?
You can burn only dry firewood or use charcoal.  Wood must be contained inside the fire container.

Are there times I can't have a recreational fire?
Recreational fires are not allowed during extreme dry weather or when windy conditions exist.  You may still have a recreational fire even if it is a no burn day for backyard burning.

Can I have a large bonfire on my private property?
No — your fire needs to stay small enough that it can be controlled.  It may not be larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height from the deepest area.  If you require a larger bonfire for a special one-time event, please contact the Fire District office for a permit and to schedule an inspection of the site.  Large bonfires must be placed at least 50 feet from any structure.

Can I have an open campfire on my private property? 
Yes — as long as it is at least 25 feet away from any structure or other combustibles.  You need to make sure the area around the fire is cleared of anything that could catch fire (dry grass, dry brush).  Any conditions that could cause a fire to spread to a structure or field must be removed prior to ignition.  The campfire has to be in a designated or self-made fire pit in a landscaped area — not in the woods.


Can I use an outdoor fireplace, fire pit or chimenea on my residential property?
Yes — it should be located at least 15 to 25 feet from a structure and needs to set on a non-combustible surface (dirt, sand, bricks, cement, etc.).

Can I use a chimenea or fire bowl on my wood deck?
The fire district does not recommend doing so.  Always follow the manufacturer fire safety instructions included with your unit.