Open Burning on Indian Reservations | Region 10 | US EPA

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Open Burning on Indian Reservations

Burn Bans

Burn ban information for Indian Reservations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington


The Open Burning Rule under the Federal Air Rules for Reservations prohibits burning certain types of materials that cause air pollution and affect people's health. 

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What is open burning?

Open burning is where the smoke, gases, chemicals, and other products from burning enter the air directly, without first going through a chimney, flue, vent, or other similar path (for example, a burn barrel or outside fire pit.)

Why is it important to control open burning?

Open burning releases toxic chemicals into the air, including dioxins. Outdoor garbage fires are the nation's leading source of dioxins. Smoke from open burning also contains pollutants such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, lead, and mercury. These pollutants can increase cases of asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases.

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Who does this rule apply to?

This rule applies to anyone who conducts open burning within one of the 39 Indian reservations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington specified in the FARR. The rule also applies to the owner of the property where open burning takes place.

If you live on the Nez Perce Reservation or the Umatilla Indian Reservation, you may be required to obtain an EPA burn permit from the Tribe. Refer to our Burn Permit Programs Web page for more information.

The rule does not apply to the following activities:

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What types materials can and cannot be burned?

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What is the best way to burn allowed materials?

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Burn bans

Under this rule, EPA can declare a burn ban whenever air quality concentrations approach, or are predicted to approach, the health standards for particulate matter. EPA can also declare a burn ban under the “Air Pollution Episodes” rule when air quality degrades to levels that are unhealthful.

The Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Quinault Nation, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe have authority to declare burn bans on EPA’s behalf under a delegation agreement.

Open burning is not allowed during a burn ban. When a burn ban is declared, the open burn must be put out immediately or allowed to burn down. However, fires set for traditional or cultural purposes are allowed during a burn ban.

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Training fires for Fire Protection Services

The Open Burning Rule 40.131 allows Fire Protection Services to request permission from the EPA Region 10 Administrator to conduct an outdoor burn by qualified personnel to train firefighters in the methods of fire suppression and fire fighting techniques as long as provisions of the rule are followed. Visit our Training fires for Fire Protection Services page to learn more.

The Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Quinault Nation, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe have authority to approve training fires for fire protection services on EPA’s behalf under a delegation agreement.

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When did the rule take effect?

This rule was effective June 7, 2005. The rule was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2005 (67 FR 18074).

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Links

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Contact us

Please call the FARR Hotline at 1-800-424-4372, or Gary Olson (olson.gary@epa.gov) at 206-553-0977 for more information or outreach materials.


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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/tribal.nsf/Programs/farr-openburning

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