Every spring and summer, residents across the state burn materials at their residence or property. In addition, some large scale vegetative burns are conducted to promote healthy forests and …
Every spring and summer, residents across the state burn materials at their residence or property. In addition, some large scale vegetative burns are conducted to promote healthy forests and rangelands. However, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality reminds residents there are specific requirements and regulations which must be followed before open burning.
State and federal laws place certain restrictions and requirements on the burning of refuse, trade wastes, leaves and other vegetative material, fire hazards and emergency purposes, salvage operations and firefighting training, said Air Quality Division Administrator Nancy Vehr.
For example, materials that cannot be burned include rubber, plastic, asphalt shingles, sheetrock, insulation, railroad ties, treated lumber, tar, explosives, ammunition, batteries, asbestos, hazardous waste, oil, PVC and insulated wires. As for vegetative material, the DEQ requires the public to submit an open burn request before starting. Staff will assist and review the request for approval of the planned burn.
“We want to make sure Wyomingites are aware of what they can and cannot burn in the state,” said Vehr. “These laws are in place to ensure our air quality remains pristine and the general public’s health is not put at risk.”
She added that residents need to answer several questions when planning a burn.
“For instance, is there a burn ban? Where is the proposed burn located? What are you burning? How close are you to neighboring structures? When are you planning to burn?” she said. “All of this information is very crucial.”
Additionally, Park County residents planning a burn need to contact the sheriff’s office beforehand at 307-754-8700. Part of the reason for the requirement is so that dispatchers know a fire is planned and who to contact if a passerby reports flames at a given location; that can spare firefighters from having to respond to a false alarm.
For more information about the DEQ’s requirements, visit http://deq.wyoming.gov/aqd/smoke-management-and-open-burning/, or call the DEQ Open Burning Program at 307-777-7391.