5.550 Outside Burning

 (1)  No person shall start or maintain any fire outside a building for the purpose of burning any combustible material, or cause or participate therein, nor shall any person in control of any premises cause or knowingly allow any such fire to be started or maintained on any part of said premises unless:
(a)  A permit has been issued as allowed in subsection (7) by the city Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee to maintain such fire at that location; and
(b)  The fire is started and maintained in accordance with the terms and specific conditions of the permit.
Exceptions that do not require a fire code permit under Section 1 include:
(a)  Outdoor cooking fires by permission of the property owner
(b)  Fires in outdoor fireplaces that meet the requirements of the Medford Building  Department by permission of the property owner
(c)    Natural gas fueled-only or propane fueled-only fireplace/fire pit/appliances
(d)   Agricultural heating devices
(e)    Fires at residential properties in wood-burning freestanding fireplace appliances or freestanding fire pit appliances that meet all of the following conditions:
  • Fires are not allowed when the Jackson County Wood Burning Advisory are declared red or yellow, and
  • Fires are not allowed when extreme fire danger levels declared by the Oregon Department of Forestry are in effect, and
  • The appliance shall be used per manufacturer’s safety requirements, and
  • The appliance must be placed on a non-combustible surface or non-combustible pad, and
  • Fires are not allowed without a screen to prevent embers from spreading, and
  • Fires are not allowed when temperatures exceed 90oF or wind speeds exceed 20mph, and
  • Fires are only permitted on property when the legal owner or the owner’s agent of
       the property gives permission, and
  • Fireplaces or fire pits shall not be operated within 15 feet of a combustible structure or combustible material (Not allowed on decks/patios of multi-family
       dwellings), and
  • Only dry wood or charcoal briquettes are allowed to be burned
    (f)    Fires at residential properties in in-ground fire pits that meet all of the following     conditions:
  • Fires are not allowed when extreme fire danger levels declared by the Oregon Department of Forestry are in effect, and
  • Fires are not allowed when the Jackson County Wood Burning Advisory are declared red or yellow, and
  • Fires are not allowed without a screen to prevent embers from spreading, and
  • Fires are not allowed when temperatures exceed 90oF or wind speeds exceed 20 mph, and
  • Fire pits shall not be operated within 25 feet of a combustible structure or combustible material, and
  • Fires are only permitted on property when the legal owner or the owner’s agent of
       the property gives permission, and
  • The maximum fuel package size is restricted to three (3) feet or less in diameter and two (2) feet or less in height (Large bonfires are not allowed), and
  • Only dry wood or charcoal briquettes are allowed to be burned  
(2) No permit will be issued where burning would violate Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 340-264-0078) governing open burning in the Rogue Basin Open Burning Control Area.
(3) No permit shall be valid at any time when the Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee has ascertained that burning is not permitted. In addition, the Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee may condition any permit issued hereunder to exclude the burning of any particular material when he finds that the burning of such material would be unduly obnoxious in the locality of the proposed burning site.
(4) The Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee shall not approve outside burning on any day if he determines that high temperatures, low humidity, high winds, drought, or other weather or other unusual conditions exist which make outside burning generally, or at the particular time and place proposed, unreasonably hazardous to the safety of persons or property.  
(5) The Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee may approve outside burning on any day when he determines that the ventilation index is or will be greater than 400 during that day. The ventilation index is the National Weather Service's indicator of the relative degree of air circulation for the Medford area.
(6) Fires which are subject to this section shall be maintained during daylight hours and by a competent adult person and shall be extinguished prior to darkness unless continued burning is specifically authorized in writing by the Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee.
(7) A permit may be issued only for any of the following purposes:
(a) controlling agricultural diseases such as blight that must be quickly destroyed by fire to prevent the spread of the disease;
(b) burning contaminated pesticide containers as prescribed by D.E.Q. and manufacturer specifications;
(c) burning bee hives and beekeeping paraphernalia to eradicate the spread of disease;
(d) burning a structure or the other use of fire for training purposes by a fire department in coordination with D.E.Q.;
(e) commercial recreational fire (pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth, or similar purposes) as defined in the Oregon Fire Code as adopted and amended;
(8)  It shall be unlawful for a person to cause or allow any of the following materials to be burned: garbage; treated wood; plastic; wire insulation; automobile parts; asphalt; petroleum products; petroleum treated material; rubber products; animal remains; paint; animal or vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, or service of food; marijuana waste products; or any other material which normally emits dense smoke or noxious odors.
(9) Outside burning without a permit is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be summarily abated by the Fire or Police Department.
 [Amd. Ord. No. 4732, Oct. 21, 1982; Amd. Ord. No. 6403, July 6, 1989; Amd. Ord. No. 6430, Aug. 17, 1989; Amd. Ord. No. 2000-45, March 16, 2000; Amd. Ord. No. 2005-57, Apr. 7, 2005; Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 2011-69, Apr. 21, 2011, Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 2020-43, Apr. 2, 2020.]