Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Idaho Environmental Guide for Local Governments: Burning and Smoke Management

Smoke generated by burning can contribute to poor air quality and impact human health. Smoke contains small airborne particles that can become lodged in our lungs, making breathing difficult and leading to more serious short-term and chronic health problems for sensitive populations such as children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with asthma or other respiratory ailments.

Why Communities Should Care

Restrictions may exist on what can be burned and when, and an air permit may be required as outlined in Idaho's Rules for Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (Sections 550-562 and 600-623).

Burning of most processed or manufactured materials is prohibited (exemptions may apply), including:

  • garbage from food preparation
  • dead animals or animal waste
  • junk motor vehicles or parts
  • tires or other rubber materials
  • plastics
  • asphalt
  • tar and petroleum materials
  • paints
  • preservative-treated wood
  • trade waste (commercial, industrial, or construction)
  • insulated wire
  • pathogenic (disease-causing) waste
  • hazardous waste

Unless a burn ban is in effect:

  • residents who have house-to-house garbage collection may burn leaves, garden waste, and yard trimmings if allowed by local government ordinances during certain periods of the year.
  • residents who do not have house-to-house garbage collection may burn rubbish (such as paper and cardboard), leaves, garden waste, and yard trimmings if burning is conducted on the property where the waste was generated.

What Communities Can Do

  • Assess projects for burning and smoke issues, evaluate the possible impact to the community, and develop management plans for this potential pollution.
  • Plan ahead by providing alternatives to burning such as a community compost or wood recycling program.
  • Local ordinances may further restrict or prohibit burning to help prevent emissions from burning and smoke beyond state and federal laws and regulations. Determine what is best for the health and welfare of your community.
  • Contact your local DEQ office for assistance with open burning and burn ban rules.

Staff Contacts

Smoke Management Supervisor
Mark Boyle
DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 666-4607

Air Quality Manager
David Luft
DEQ Boise Regional Office
1445 N. Orchard St.
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0550

Air Quality Manager
Shawn Sweetapple
DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 666-4602

Air Quality/Remediation Manager
Rensay Owen
DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office
900 N. Skyline Drive, Suite B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528-2650

Air Quality Manager
Philip Hagihara
DEQ Lewiston Regional Office
1118 "F" St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
(208) 799-4370

Air Quality Manager
Melissa Gibbs
DEQ Pocatello Regional Office
444 Hospital Way #300
Pocatello, ID 83201
(208) 236-6160

Air Quality/Remediation Manager
Bobby Dye
DEQ Twin Falls Regional Office
650 Addison Avenue West, Suite 110
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 736-2190

DEQ Resources

Burn Clean, Burn Smart

What Can & Cannot Be Burned

You Breathe What You Burn

Related Pages

Air Quality Permitting

Burn Restrictions and Bans

Crop Residue Burning

Residential Burning

Prohibitions Against Burning Trade Waste

Wildland Fires

Woodstoves and Air Quality