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Frequently Asked Questions

  • No. "Campfires" that are continuously attended, have a total fuel area of less than 3' in diameter and 2' in height that consists of only paper and untreated wood, and that are used for cooking, warming, or emergency signaling; do not require a permit.
  • Fires used to clean-up yard debris or that contain cardboard or treated wood products, are a "debris pile" and require a valid small-scale burn permit.
  • Only "natural materials" as defined in Alaska Administrative Code are allowed to be burned.
  • Natural materials are "composed of any recently living plant matter, including stumps; branches; logs; leaf, needle, and branches litter, grass, untreated lumber, paper; and cardboard." (11 AAC 95.495)
  • Small- and Large-scale permits only allow for a single burn at a time. If you are burning in your barrel, you need to extinguish it before burning a pile. If you are a burning a pile, it must be extinguished and be cold to the touch before igniting a second pile.
  • DOF only issues burn permits from April 1 through August 31 of each year. However, safe and courteous burning practices must be followed year-round. *
  • Winter regulations pertain to
    • Black, Obnoxious, or Toxic Smoke**
      • 18 AAC 50.065 (b)** - Black Smoke burning of asphalts, rubber products, plastics, tars, oils, oily wastes, contaminated oil cleanup materials, or other materials in a way that gives of black smoke is prohibited without written departmental (DEC) approval.
      • 18 AAC 50.065 (d)** - Adverse Effects Prohibited. Open burning of putrescible garbage, animal carcasses, or petroleum-based materials, including materials contaminated with petroleum or petroleum-based derivatives, is prohibited if it causes odor or black smoke that has an adverse effect on nearby persons or property.
      • ** 18 AAC 50.065 is an AK-Department of Environmental Control regulation **
    • Ground Clearance
    • Abandoning a burning or smoldering fire
      • AS 41.15.090(b) - After starting a fire in or near forested land, failure to totally extinguish the fire.
    • Trespass Fires
      • AS 41.15.100 - Setting a fire on forested land without the consent of the owner or lawful occupant.
    • * Burning may be subject to other local laws and regulations that are more restrictive. The person burning is responsible for determining and complying with any federal, state, municipal or local laws and regulations that apply. *
  • If local permit is at least as stringent as the DOF permit, then no additional DOF permit is required.
  • Before burning, permits must be signed and dated.
  • While burning the permit needs to be readily accessible to show firefighters or law enforcement.
  • Yes, permits are only valid during the calendar year that they were issued.
  • Burn Permit Suspensions: prohibit any burning that requires a small- or large-scale permit. This includes burn barrels, debris piles, and lawn burns.
    • "Campfires" (see above) are allowed.
  • Emergency Burn Closures: Close an area to the setting of fires, smoking, use of specified approved burning devices, entry, or other use on the land when the commissioner determines these activities would significantly increase the fire danger.
    • All open burning, including campfires, are prohibited.
    • Smokers, charcoal grills, and other approved burning devices are prohibited.
    • Gas grills, camp stoves, propane burners, or other devices that do not set fire to other fuels, are contained, and have an on/off switch that immediately extinguishes the flame are allowed.