Burn permits are required everyday, everywhere
February 5, 2008
SUMMIT COUNTY ” Lake Dillon Fire and Rescue is urging all residents to apply for burn permits when burning extra slash in an ongoing effort to keep fire danger low.
Even though there may be plenty of snow on the ground, fire authorities warn that low temperatures transform grasses into freeze-dried fuels that can quickly ignite and spread fire come spring.
“If it’s bigger than a campfire, call me for a permit,” said Patti Maguire, the Summit County Wildfire Mitigation Officer. “There is no charge to apply for burn permits and the main aim is to educate people while lowering the risk of fire danger.”
Over the past 25 years, the population in Summit County has tripled, and new developments in forested areas greatly increases the risk of wildfires.
Those residents looking to burn extra yard slash should make sure the fire is at least 50 feet away from the nearest structure and is made up of clean, woody, debris no larger than 2.5 inches in diameter.
“It’s important to have a common set of standards for everyone,” said Brandon Williams at Lake Dillon Fire and Rescue. “A little bit of fire goes a long way, and everything we can do to manage burns helps to protect the environment.”
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Fire authorities recommend spring and fall as the best seasons to burn slash, as it is common in Summit County to experience a “Burn Ban” during the summer months when wildfire danger is at its highest.
After applying for a permit, a Wildfire Mitigation Officer will then follow up with a home visit, making sure certain guidelines are met and that the designated burn area is in a safe location.
“It doesn’t need to be a brain strain,” Maguire said. “But when people don’t apply for permits, it can create a lot of problem.”
Many times, neighbors who see smoke coming from backyards will instinctively call 911. If a burn is happening without a permit the information will not be on record with fire authorities and the fire will be treated as an emergency.
“When we have to dispatch engines to fires that aren’t an emergency it takes away from our capacity to respond to other emergencies,” said Williams. “Applying for a permit doesn’t take much time and it’s really just courteous common sense.”
Fire authorities suggest that those individuals looking to burn bigger debris, contact Sarah Gallup with the Office of Smoke Management at (303)916-1260.
BOX: Slash burning policies
– Call the Summit County Wildfire Mitigation Officer (Patti Maguire) at (970) 513-4237.
– The Officer will come to your home and perform an inspection.
– Burn piles must be smaller than 8 feet in diameter.
– Burn piles must be no greater than 4 feet in height.
– A method to put out the fire must be easily available (water, snow, sand or dirt).
– Tools to work the fire must be present.
– The fire must be attended to at all times.
– Burning is allowed from dawn until dusk.
– You must call Summit County Dispatch when you ignite the slash and when you extinguish the slash.
– A person must be responsible to attend to each fire until extinguished.
– Never leave a fire unattended.