Burning Activities

The Air Quality Department regulates burn activities because the process of burning wood and other materials produces fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other toxins that can be harmful to your health.

This page summarizes common types of burning activities and restrictions. Most burning restrictions apply throughout Maricopa County, while some apply only in Area A. For an interactive map of Area A, see Planning Area Maps.

For information on burn permits and types of fires that require a burn permit, see Burn Permits.

To find out if a No Burn Day has been declared you can download the Clean Air Make More Mobile App, check the Burn Restrictions Advisory page, or call 602-506-6400.

Burning Waste and Other Prohibited Materials

Burning household waste creates dangerous air pollution and is strictly prohibited. Burning yard waste (such as tree trimmings) is also prohibited. Contact your local waste disposal service to find out how to dispose of household waste and yard waste in your area, or create a compost pile for your yard waste. Other prohibited materials that cannot be burned in Maricopa County are listed in Rule 314 and Ordinance P-26.

Fireplaces, Woodstoves, and Chimineas

Burning anything other than gaseous fuels (including gas logs) in a fireplace, woodstove, or chiminea is prohibited on a No Burn Day. When burn restrictions are not in effect, only gaseous fuels or clean, dry wood can be burned.

Fires for Cooking

Fires for cooking must use gaseous fuels or clean, dry wood. Fires for cooking are allowed on a No Burn Day if the fire is used to cook, smoke, or flavor food for immediate human consumption, and all of the following requirements are met:

  • Begin cooking without delay once the fire is established
  • Extinguish the fire without delay once all parts of the food are suitable for human consumption
  • The dimensions of the fire shall not exceed two square feet, unless a larger fire is necessary to ensure all parts of the food will reach the safe internal temperature recommended by the Department of Agriculture

 Fires Allowed on a No Burn Day

  • Orchard heaters for frost protection in farming or nursery operations
  • Proper disposal of the flag of the United States under 4 U.S.C. § 8 (additional requirements are listed in Rule 314)

Fires Prohibited from May 1 – September 30 in Area A

  • Warmth for human beings
  • Recreational purposes
  • Wood-burning chimineas and outdoor pits
  • Branding of animals

 Fines

  • Fines for improper burning in fireplaces, chimineas, and woodstoves at residential locations, under Ordinance P-26, range from $50 – $250 depending on the number of violations issued to the individual.
  • The minimum fine for an illegal outdoor fire under Rule 314 is $200. Higher fines may be assessed depending on purpose of the fire, the type and amount of material burned, and other factors associated with the violation.
Page reviewed 13 November 2019