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Open burning allowed now - with rules

Wild fires such as the one above can result from improper burning, lack of fire supervision or not having the right tools to do a controlled burn.

Sun Advocate reporter

On Tuesday open burn season in the unincorporated county began. This means that residents in those areas can burn certain items on certain days, under the regulations of open burning.

But what are those regulations? Price City Fire Chief Paul Bedont has set up a list of guidelines to protect both landowners who may be burning and the citizens who may live in the areas where burning takes place.

First of all residents must realize that these regulations only pertain to the unincorporated areas. No incorporated city allows general open burning. Secondly there is a procedure people must go through if they plan to burn.

"You are required to call and obtain daily approval through the public safety dispatcher. You can call them 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 by those who are not aware that the fire is allowed and secondly, state and federal environmental law allows burning only when atmospheric conditions are right."

The public safety dispatchers have this information, which is updated daily. The air clearing index information can also be obtained from the National Weather Service. A link to their website can be found at the Price City Fire Department's website at www.priceutah .net.

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

"Open burning is allowed during daylight hours only and the permit holder must be on-site and monitoring the fire at all times," says Bedont. "Remember, you are responsible for any fires you start and could be held criminally and civilly liable for fire suppression costs and any damages which occurs as a result of your burning. The EPA also forbids the burning of garbage which is one of the reasons that Carbon County provides a no-fee landfill for residential use."

The following are some safety tips which will help prevent a fire from getting out of control:

*Obtain a permit. The permit is not a written permit but one that is issued by the dispatcher when you call. They will give you a number, which you should write down. Also when you are done burning you need to call back to let dispatch know that you are finished.

*Clear the area around where you are burning of combustible materials. Fires should be kept in small spaces; you should not have a large roaring fire. This will keep flying embers down.

"Doing this will prevent the fire from spreading," said Bedont. "Remember hot ashes can spread a fire beyond your property.

*Never leave a fire unattended. It is your responsibility to be at the fire at all times.

*Have a way to extinguish the fire such as having shovels, fire extinguishers, a hose, ect. nearby should the fire become too large and spread.

*Closely monitor the wind conditions and quickly extinguish the fire if burning embers begin to blow toward other combustibles.

*Burn only weeds, tree limbs, branches, leaves , grass, etc. Strict environmental laws prohibit the burning of trash, refuse, buildings and chemicals and other materials.

*Have a way to quickly call for help should problems arise. Keeping a cell phone nearby is a good idea.

*Follow the same rules one would in a national forest when you are done burning. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the site.

Fires, even small ones can be dangerous. Small blazes can grow into large ones quickly.

"Please be responsible when undertaking an open burn," concluded Bedont. "No matter the size of the controlled burn, fire must be respected at all times."

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