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Fire officials outline burning regulations in Carbon County

Price firefighters put out a blaze last summer. While this blaze was not caused by an open burn, strict policies have been instituted in order to keep any structure from catching fire due to a permitted burn.

Sun Advocate community editor

Spring is the time of year when many residents begin to clean up yards and plan to burn weeds, branches and leaves as part of the process.

While the action may seems effective to some residents, there are specific laws that govern where and when open burning is allowed.

"Over the past few years, we have seen news reports of large wildfires which have devastated entire communities in California and throughout the nation," pointed out Price Fire Chief Paul Bedont. "Recently, we have also seen large plumes of smoke rise into the Carbon County skyline."

"As firefighters, we often wonder if our residents have taken the proper precautions to ensure they control their fires," continued the Price chief

During the open burning season, generally in spring, the chief indicated that the Price City Fire Department is called out on a regular basis to extinguish burns which have grown too large for the farmer or the gardener to handle.

"Fortunately, we haven't had any fatalities in recent years involving open burning. However, some of the fires have caused thousands of dollars in damage and resulted in costly citations," explained Bedont. "All residents of Carbon County, regardless of where they live, now have ordinances regulating open burning."

In order to maintain uniformity and comply with state and federal regulations, the county fire chiefs and county fire warden have set the time frame of April 6 through May 3 as the open burning season for municipalities which allow burning.

Residents may obtain detailed rules governing open burning from local fire departments or city offices.

The local bylaws include the following specifications:

•Statewide closed burn season. Open burning from June 1 through Sept. 31 is not allowed without a written state permit.

For more detailed information, contact the county fire warden.

•Price - With only a few exceptions, no open burning is allowed within the Price city limits.

•Helper - Permits are required and may be obtained from the Helper City Police Department on Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The permits are free and are good for three days, but must be obtained before any burning can legally begin.

•Wellington - Permits are required and may be obtained by residents 18 years of age and older from the Wellington city offices on regular business days between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Valid for one day, the permits are free and must be obtained before any legal burning can be done.

•East Carbon - Permits are required and may be obtained by residents 18 years of age or older from the East Carbon City offices on regular business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The free permits are valid for two days, but must be obtained before any burning can commence within the city's boundaries.

•Sunnyside - Permits are required and may be obtained from the Sunnyside city offices on regular business days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The permits are free, but must be obtained before any burning can be done within Sunnyside's city limits.

Scofield - Due to the mountainous terrain and proximity to forest service property in Scofield, the town's open burn season differs from the rest of the county.

For open burn information, residents should contact Scofield town offices at 637-0893.

"Once a permit is obtained, you are required to call and obtain daily approval through the public safety dispatcher at 637-0893," explained Bedont. "This phone call accomplishes two things. First, it makes the local fire departments aware that there is a controlled burn taking place so that we are not called to the fire. And secondly, state and federal environmental law allows open burning only when atmospheric conditions allow."

The air index is a compilation of several environmental factors. The factors affect the atmospheres ability to carry smoke up and away from the ground where it is a hazard to breathe.

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