Arizona Revised Statutes § 49-501 Unlawful Open Burning; Exceptions; Civil Penalty; Definition

49-501. Unlawful open burning; exceptions; civil penalty; definition

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other section of this article: 1. It is unlawful for any person to ignite, cause to be ignited, permit to be ignited, or suffer, allow, or maintain any open outdoor fire except as provided in this section.

2. From May 1 through September 30 each year, it is unlawful for any person to ignite, cause to be ignited, permit to be ignited or suffer, allow or maintain any open outdoor fire in area A as defined in section 49-541.

B. The following fires are excepted from this section:

1. Fires used only for cooking of food or for providing warmth for human beings or the branding of animals or the use of orchard heaters for the purpose of frost protection in farming or nursery operations.

2. Any fire set or permitted by any public officer in the performance of official duty, if such fire is set or permission given for the purpose of weed abatement, the prevention of a fire hazard, or instruction in the methods of fighting fires.

3. Fires set by or permitted by the director of the department of agriculture or county agricultural agents of the county for the purpose of disease and pest prevention.

4. Fires set by or permitted by the federal government or any of its departments, agencies or agents or the state or any of its agencies, departments or political subdivisions for the purpose of watershed rehabilitation or control through vegetative manipulation.

5. Fires permitted by any rule or regulation issued pursuant to this article, by any conditional permit issued by a hearing board established under this article or by any rule or conditional permit issued pursuant to article 2 of this chapter when the department of environmental quality pursuant to section 49-402 has assumed jurisdiction of the county in which the fire is located.

6. Fires set for the disposal of dangerous materials where there is no safe alternate method of disposal.

C. Permission for the setting of any fire given by a public officer in the performance of official duty under subsection B, paragraph 2, 3 or 4 of this section shall be given in writing and a copy of the written permission shall be transmitted immediately to the director of environmental quality and the control officer of the county, district or region in which such fire is allowed. The setting of any such fire shall be conducted in a manner and at such time as approved by the control officer or the director of environmental quality, unless doing so would defeat the purpose of the exemption.

D. Notwithstanding section 49-107, the director may delegate authority for the issuance of open burning permits to a county, city, town or fire district. A county, city, town or fire district that has been delegated authority for the issuance of open burning permits may assign the issuance of these permits to a private fire protection service provider that performs fire protection services within that county, city, town or fire district. Any private fire protection service provider that is authorized to issue open burning permits pursuant to this subsection shall maintain a copy of all currently effective permits issued including a means of contacting the person authorized by the permit to set the fire in the event that an order to extinguish the open burning is issued. Permits issued pursuant to this subsection shall contain both of the following:

1. Conditions that limit the manner and time of setting the fire and that are consistent with this section and rules adopted pursuant to this section.

2. A provision that all burning be extinguished at the discretion of the director or the director's authorized representative during periods of inadequate atmospheric smoke dispersion, periods of excessive visibility impairment that could adversely affect public safety or periods when smoke is blown into populated areas so as to create a public nuisance.

E. The director may issue a general permit to allow persons engaged in farming or ranching on forty acres or more in an unincorporated area to burn household waste, as defined in section 49-701, that is generated on site, if no household waste collection and disposal service is available. The general permit shall include the following:

1. Conditions governing the method, manner and times for burning.

2. Limitation on materials which may be burned, including a prohibition on burning of materials which generate noxious fumes.

3. A requirement that any person seeking coverage under the general permit shall register with the director on a form prescribed by the director. Upon receipt of a registration form, the director shall notify the county in which the farm or ranch is located of such registration.

4. A statement that the director, a local air pollution control officer, or any other public officer may order the extinguishment of burning or may prohibit burning during periods of inadequate smoke dispersion or excessive visibility impairment or at other times when public health or safety could be adversely affected.

F. Nothing in this section is intended to permit any practice which is a violation of any statute, ordinance, rule or regulation in a county with a population in excess of one million two hundred thousand persons. Notwithstanding any other law, such a county shall prohibit by ordinance the use of wood burning chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires on those days for which the county has issued a no burn day restriction.

G. A person who violates any provision of this section may be served a notice of violation and be subject to the enforcement provisions of this article to the same extent as a person violating any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this article, except that a violation that lasts no more than twenty-four hours and that is the first violation committed by that person is subject to a civil penalty of no more than five hundred dollars.

H. For the purposes of this section, " open outdoor fire" means any combustion of combustible material of any type outdoors, in the open where the products of combustion are not directed through a flue. For the purposes of this subsection, " flue" means any duct or passage for air, gases or the like, such as a stack or chimney.

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Last modified: October 13, 2016