KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Twice each year there are open burn windows that allow Klamath County Air Quality Zone residents the opportunity to burn yard waste. Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) just announced the 2023 Fall open burning window. It begins 8 a.m. Saturday, October 28, and ends 5 p.m. Sunday, November 12.

In communities outside the Air Quality Zone, residents must contact their local fire district before open burning. Burn conditions vary greatly throughout Klamath County and open burn periods are determined locally based on current risk.

Public Health officials have set the following guidelines for the open burning window:

1.       The air quality advisory must be green. The daily advisory is available at 541-882-BURN (2876).

2.       Only residential yard waste, such as tree limbs, brush, and leaves may be burned.

3.       All burning must occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and be fully extinguished by 7 p.m.

4.       No trash, plastic, rubber, tar, petroleum products, treated or painted wood may be burned.

5.       The use of burn barrels is prohibited. 

6.       The burning of commercial, construction, demolition or industrial waste is not included in this burn window.  Burning for these purposes requires a special permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; contact the DEQ office in Bend at 541-633-2016.

7. Agricultural burning inside the Air Quality Zone is prohibited without a certificate of variance issued by Klamath County Public Health.

Fire District guidelines for public safety are:

1.       The wind must be no greater than 10 mph. For wind speed call 541-883-8127.

2.       An appropriate means to extinguish the fire needs to be present (charged hose or extinguisher).

3.       A responsible adult must be present at the fire from the first flame until the fire is extinguished.

4.       The burn pile shall be no larger than six feet in diameter and four feet high.

5.       There must be a six-foot clear area down to mineral soil around the burn pile, and the pile must be at least 20 feet from combustible fences and buildings.

6.       The person conducting any burning is responsible for damage and the cost of an out of control burn, traffic problems and other hazards caused by the smoke. Any escaped fire, burning of unauthorized material, traffic problems, or other hazards not mentioned could result in violations and fines.

7. Smoke creating a nuisance (even if burning authorized materials), may result in a request to extinguish the fire. Planning an open burn according to where other neighbors live and monitoring wind directions will reduce the chance of smoke creating a nuisance.

The open burn window may be cancelled at any time due to air quality or fire hazard conditions. KCPH reminds people that the smoke from burning yard debris is equally as harmful to lungs as cigarette smoke.

To see a map of the Air Quality Zone, visit http://www.klamathcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/1019/Map-of-the-Air-Quality-Zone-PDF.

During the open burn window, residents should check with their local Fire District or the City of Klamath Falls (inside the city limits) for additional restrictions. Phone numbers for these agencies include: Klamath County Fire District No. 1 541-885-2056; Klamath County Fire District No. 3 541-880-6877; Klamath County Fire District No. 4 541-884-1670; Klamath County Public Health 541-883-1122; City of Klamath Falls Code Enforcement 541-883-5358.