Outdoor Burning

Outdoor burning is limited in the City of Ashland and always requires a permit.

With a permit, there are two periods per year that burning is allowed in the City:
Spring - March 1st until fire season is declared (by Oregon Department of Forestry)
Fall - For two weeks after fire season ends
Before requesting a permit for outdoor burning, please understand:
Outdoor burning throughout the City of Ashland will be limited to materials resulting from Wildfire Fuel Reduction efforts and Noxious Weed disposal only. 


How do I know if I can burn? 
You must meet both of the following conditions (A and B) to be considered for a burn permit:

A. Material to be burned must be Wildfire Fuels or Noxious Weeds

Wildfire Fuels Reduction is the cutting or thinning of native woody vegetation that is sufficiently flammable during the summer months.  The vegetation must constitute a threat to property or structures to be considered as wildfire fuels. 

It's a good idea to consult with us before you cut wildfire fuels to determine what to cut and how you will dispose of the debris once it’s cut. See our Firewise page or call the Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator at (541) 552-2231 for a field consultation regarding wildfire fuels reduction.

  • Our FAC Coordinator does not issue Burn Permits. Please call (541) 482-2770 for specific questions regarding burn permits.

Noxious Weeds are those weeds listed on the Oregon State Department of Agriculture's A,B, or T lists.  Common weeds from these lists found in Ashland are (but not limited to):

  • Himalayan blackberry
  • Star thistle
  • Scotch Broom
  • Dalmatian toadflax
  • English Ivy
  • Spanish and Scot's broom
  • Spotted knapweed
  • Puncture vine
  • Japanese knotweed

A complete list of noxious weeds can be found at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/PLANT/WEEDS/docs/weed_policy.pdf

Noxious weeds can be burned anywhere in the city once a permit is issued. WEEDS MUST BE PILED. NO WEED BURNERS (TORCHES) ARE ALLOWED.

B. Burning is the only option for disposal of biomass material

The biomass to be disposed of has to be in a place where chipping or hauling of the material is not feasible, or (as is the case of some noxious weeds) chipping or transport of the material would spread noxious weed seeds beyond the area of current infestation – i.e, Scot's broom with seed pods still attached or roots of knotweed. In situations where removal by chipping or hauling is feasible, burning will be seen as a last option for all vegetation.

Alternatives to Burning

There are many alternatives to burning debris in Ashland. Here are some suggestions: 

How Do I Get a Burn Permit?

If you meet the conditions stated above, you will need to schedule a Burn Permit inspection with Ashland Fire & Rescue by calling (541) 482-2770 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Click here to apply for a burn permit online

Burn permits are only valid on days within Jackson County when the Ventilation Index (VI)* allows burning and during those two times of the year permitted in the city of Ashland – March 1st until fire season begins and for two weeks in the fall after fire season ends.

*The VI is the National Weather Service's indicator of the relative degree of air circulation for a specified area and time period. Basically, it is a measurement of the air's ability to "clean" itself.​

Once a permit is obtained, review and follow the burning regulations on the PDF file found below, and as directed by the inspector. Follow the instructions on the permit to activate your permit each day that you burn.

Learn more about Wildfire Safety for Ashland Residents:

How do I know which fire district I live in?

Check out the Jackson County GIS Map of fire districts

When does fire season begin and end?

Fire season is the time of year when outdoor fuels are prone to fire. Fire season is weather dependent, but typically begins in June and ends in October. See https://www.oregon.gov/odf/Pages/index.aspx for updates or call ODF at 541-664-3328.

Why is burning so restricted in the city of Ashland?

In 2007, the Ashland City Council amended sections of the Ashland Municipal Code that regulate outdoor burning within the City of Ashland. The Council was responding to the tightening air quality standards in the Rogue Valley and from concerns raised by citizens with respiratory problems who are impacted by smoke from open burning.

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