Controlled burns have long been a part of everyday life out here on the eastern plains, and it’s easy to take for granted the ease of cleaning up your property while sometimes forgetting some of the regulations in place regarding such burns.

Most importantly, you need to notify us when you’re going to have a controlled burn. We receive calls about smoke in the air, and when we know there is a controlled burn in the area, the information can be paramount for the safety of responders, and also help with resource management. You don’t want the fire department showing up to your controlled burn just as much as they don’t want to respond to a false call. Additionally, reporting your controlled burn is the law in Colorado.

As a resident of Yuma or Washington county, you can report your controlled burn by calling your local Sheriff’s office.

Yuma County: 970-332-4805

Washington County: 970-345-2244

Dispatch will answer that phone, and we’ll notify the fire department that you are having a controlled burn.

When you call us, we’ll need a bit of information from you. Location, name and phone number of the person monitoring the fire, the size and contents of your burn, and an estimate of when you think you’ll be finished.

It is important that you call before starting your controlled burn. The Sheriffs in both counties have stated that if the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for our area, that constitutes an automatic burn ban.

A red flag warning is a forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service and means that conditions are ideal for wildland fire combustion, and rapid spread. This information is listed in several places, but we use this map.

The Colorado Air Pollution Control Division lists out some things that are not to be burned. If you tell dispatch that you plan to burn these materials, we’ll recommend that you don’t. You can find this same information on the Open Burn Fact Sheet, but they are as follow:

Tree stumps, tires, plastic, cut lumber, construction debris, pallets, furniture and trash.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding of these regulations.

For more information regarding Colorado states regulations regarding burns, this list of frequently asked questions may prove most helpful. Any questions beyond these addressed are best directed to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Air Pollution Control Division at 303-692-3268.