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Frequently Asked Questions
Staff Directory
715 NW Dimmick Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526
Phone: (541) 474-5325
Fax: (541) 474-5353
Contact: Justin Fimbres, Environmental Health Specialist
Hours: 9:00AM - 4:30PM Mon-Thursday, Closed 12-12:30 for lunch, Closed on Fridays
Open/Barrel Burning

Open and Barrel Burning

Open/barrel burning contributes to air pollution in the Rogue Valley, particularly during air stagnation episodes. Before open/barrel burning, please consider alternatives to open burning. If you decide to burn, it is important to follow the proper guidelines.

The open burn advisory lets you know if it is good day to burn or not depending on the air quality. The advisory is based on the ventilation index taken from the Medford weather station. This index measures the air’s ability to clean itself. If good ventilation conditions are predicted for the Rogue Valley outdoor burning is permitted. Citizens in the Rogue Basin Open Burn Control area must also follow the air quality ventilation index. Burning in this area is governed by Oregon State Administrative Rules. The open burn day designation may be obtained by calling 476-9663. Although the advisory covers the Rogue Basin Open Burn control Area, residents outside the area can voluntarily follow the burn advisory for the day. The Rogue Basin Control Area is defined from 3 miles south of Merlin, 3 miles south of Murphy, Ewe Creek and Lower River Road junction on the west and the Josephine County line on the East. Maps are available at Josephine County Public
Health Department.

The City of Grants Pass does not allow open burning at any time with the exception of two time periods per year (1 in spring and 1 in fall).  A permit is required for this burning and citizens must follow the air quality ventilation index.  Call 541-450-6200 for more information.


Individual fire districts permit burning but may prohibit open burning. Rules are based on local fire safety or air quality concerns. Always contact your local fire department to find out if burning is authorized on a particular day.

NOTE:  Open burning is allowed only during daylight hours, between 0730 until 2 hours prior to sunset (OAR 340-264-0030, section 13).  It is ILLEGAL to burn any type of material during non-burning hours.

Open/barrel burning is prohibited...

  • In Josephine County within the Rogue Valley Burn Control Area when the Ventilation Index (VI)* is below 400.
  • 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.


Learn more about burning of ILLEGAL MATERIAL, click here.

Steps to Successful Open/Barrel Burning

1. Determine if you live inside or outside the The Rogue Valley Burn Control Area (RVBCA).  Click here for map of the Open Burn Control Area.  Call the Air Quality Program Coordinator at 541-474-5325 if you don't know whether you're in or out and we'll find out for you.

2. Contact your Fire District or ODF to obtain a burn permit (if applicable). Follow permit requirements. If you are within the City of Grants Pass, call the city at 450-6200.

4. Call the open/barrel burn advisory at 476-WOOD (9663) to hear the daily predicted Ventilation Index (VI) and burn status. The predicted VI must be at least 400 to burn (as determined by the National Weather Service).

Before You Burn

If you feel you need to burn please call the Burn Day Advisory line before you burn. Remember, only dry wood, paper and cardboard may be burned. If you can see or smell smoke, then you may be causing a problem for yourself, your family and your neighbors. Air quality concerns or illegal burning can be reported by calling Josephine County Environmental Health Services at 474-5325 or the state Department of Environmental Quality in Medford (541) 776-6010 ext.237. Air Quality Program Josephine County Public Health Department 474-5325

·       Provide and update air quality/open burn telephone Advisories.

·       Respond to and enforce illegal open burn and woodstove violations in an effort to help meet the state and federal particulate matter standards.


NOTE:  Open burning is allowed only during daylight hours, between 0730 until 2 hours prior to sunset (OAR 340-264-0030, section 13).  It is ILLEGAL to burn any type of material during non-burning hours. 



                                                                             Call 476-WOOD Before You Burn 

Identified Mandates

Oregon Revised Statues 468, Oregon Administrative Rules 340-Div 23, Grants Pass Pollution Prevention Plan for PM10 and PM2.5, Interagency/Intergovernmental Agreement with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Oregon Administrative Rules for Open Burning, click here.

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