The Oregon Department of Forestry declared the end of wildfire season effective October 29, 2018. Jackson County allows open burning of approved materials on designated burn days only in accordance with the following requirements, which are designed to reduce the amount of smoke being trapped in the valley and prevent burning of prohibited materials.
“If the ventilation is good enough, it should allow for smoke to escape the valley with minimal impact on air quality,” says Jon Wright, the Jackson County Environmental Public Health Air Quality Coordinator. “It is important to remember that this all depends on ventilation being good enough to allow the smoke to escape the valley. If people burn when the ventilation is poor, it can lead to air quality problems.”
Follow these four easy guidelines for successful open & barrel burning in Jackson County:
1) Obtain a permit from your local Fire Department
Call your fire district or local fire department and ask them how to apply for a permit. Some fire departments will do this through the mail. Once you have a permit, please read and follow the instructions carefully.
2) Call the open and barrel burn advisory every day before burning
The Burn Advisory Hotline can be reached at 541-776-7007. Updated every morning, the advisory will inform you if open and barrel burning is permitted based on local weather conditions.
3) Determine if you are inside of the Air Quality Maintenance Area (AQMA) or city limits
The AQMA boundary is the same as the mandatory vehicle emissions inspection area (I&M boundary). Open and barrel burning are not allowed within the AQMA between November 1st and the end of February. Call 541-774-8207 if you are unsure of the AQMA boundaries. Further restrictions often apply within city limits. If you are within city limits please contact your city.
4) Never burn prohibited materials
Burning of any garbage, plastic, wire insulation, automobile parts, asphalt, petroleum products, petroleum treated materials, rubber products, animal remains, or animal or vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, or service of food or of any other material which normally emits dense smoke or noxious odors is prohibited throughout Jackson County.
To help keep the air clean, burning should always be a last resort when getting rid of yard debris. Here are some environmentally friendly alternatives:
- Compost leaves and yard materials. The local Oregon State University Extension Service office has a wealth of information on composting and can be reached at 541-776-7371. If you don't want to compost, but have leaves, sign up with Jackson County’s Leaf Exchange Program. It serves to connect people who want leaves for composting with people who need to get rid of leaves. Call Jackson County Environmental Public Health at 541-774-7835 if you would like to sign up.
- Take yard debris to Biomass One. Located on Avenue G in White City, Biomass has a variety of wood waste recycling programs from home pick-up to a drop-off center. Visit their website at http://www.biomassone.com or call 541-826-9422 for more information.
- Take yard debris to Rogue Disposal. They are located at 8001 Table Rock Road in Medford. Call 541-779-4161 for more information about their yard debris, leaf recycling and composting programs.
- Take yard debris to Ashland Sanitary and Recycling Transfer Station. They are located at 3000 Valley View Road in Ashland. In addition to complete garbage and recycling service, they also have yard debris chipping and leaf disposal services. Visit their website at http://www.ashlandsanitary.com or call 541-482-1471.
- Take yard debris to Hilton Fuel. They are located at 8087 Blackwell Road in Central Point and accept clean wood only. Call 541-664-3374 for more information.