Be sure to get a permit before burning slash in Grand County
The Grand County Division of Natural Resources (GCDNR) manages the open burning of slash (debris from tree removal) on all private property within Grand County. We operate under a Delegation of Authority from the State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Our goal is to protect the air quality within the county. We accomplish this by following the National Weather Service’s weather updates and only allowing burning during good smoke-dispersal conditions. Anyone wanting to burn any pile larger than a campfire is required to have an approved burn permit. They must also call GCDNR at 970-887-0745 (seven days a week) to make sure the appropriate weather conditions are present and to get listed on our Daily Burners List. Anyone can check, in real time, for the location and amounts of pile burning: http://co.grand.co.us/142/Open-Burning. Click on the link that says “Daily Burners List for Fire Districts and Dispatch.”
To minimize the danger of wildfire, the open burning program is only operational during the winter months when snow is present throughout most of Grand County. GCDNR begins issuing permits in the fall of each year and the season “opens” once we have stable snowpack. All permits expire on April 1 of each year but can be extended on an as-needed basis if weather conditions allow.
The Grand County Open Burning Program has been in place since 2001. When the mountain pine beetle epidemic hit the populated areas of Grand County, the burn program assisted private property owners in the disposal of the tree slash generated from forest mitigation projects. Since 2007, Grand County residents have successfully burned over 77 million cubic feet of slash in more than 40,000 burn piles with minimal smoke impacts and no fire impacts.
A slash pile can be any size, but if a slash pile is larger than a campfire (3 feet round by 2 feet tall) a burn permit is required. There is no cost for a standard permit unless the base of any pile on the property exceeds 12 feet in any direction. Then the permit costs $50 per property (regardless of the number of slash piles) and is good for the entire season. GCDNR recommends keeping the base of all the piles to no larger than 10 feet by 10 feet and we recommend that the piles be at least as tall as they are wide.
Keeping the piles these sizes will not only exempt the property owner from the $50 permit fee, but it will be much easier to burn on most days. GCDNR only allows burning when appropriate weather conditions exist, which is when the smoke will disperse. This smoke dispersal forecast changes daily.
Burn permit applications become available each year in mid-October at our offices on the corner of 4th Street and E. Topaz in Granby or on the Grand County website: http://co.grand.co.us/142/Open-Burning. An approved burn permit is required for anyone wanting to burn a slash pile that is larger than a campfire (as defined above). It is illegal to burn slash without an approved burn permit.
Anyone that burns slash without an approved burn permit may be issued a citation with a mandatory court appearance and fines. Please call our offices at 970-887-0745 or refer to the county website to download the “Grand County Open Burn Program and Slash Pile Burning Guidelines” brochure for more information about open burning.
Thank you for your help in making this program a success.
Jennifer Scott is the foreman of the Division of Natural Resources for Grand County and can be reached at email@example.com.
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