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Mesa County Health Department
Environmental Health Services-Air Quality
Open Burn Permits  

Spring Burning Season
March 1 - May 31

Fall Burning Season
Sept. 1 - Oct. 31

During spring and fall of each year, the Mesa County Residential Open Burning Control Regulation provides for the legal open burning of:
  • Dry weeds
  • Garden waste
  • Tree, shrub or brush trimmings less than 1" diameter 

No Burn Days

The Mesa County Open Burning Resolution states, "The Mesa County Health Department is authorized to declare no-burn advisories for any daytime period, during which time no open burning activitiy will be allowed". Please check the current advisory by calling 970-248-6990 or visiting The Western Slope Air Watch Alert Page before you commence burning activities. 

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Advisories are issued with either a "Blue Flame OK To Burn" or a "Red Flame DO NOT Burn" symbol.

Alternatives to Open Burning 
Backyard composting has proven very beneficial to replacing open burning. Contact Colorado State Cooperative Extension at 970-244-1834 or visit their website for specific details on how to compost materials in your own back yard.

The Mesa County Waste Management Division offers a large-scale composting facility to the public for residential, municipal and commercial green waste disposal. Materials can be dropped off at the Orchard Mesa Landfill weekday afternoons at no charge. Please avoid materials containing rocks and metal debris, which can cause havoc to the large and expensive tub grinder needed to reduce these materials into small, compostable pieces. They can be contacted at (970) 263-9319 or visit their website for more information

Requirements and Cost

Permits for those in the defined areas of the following fire protection districts may be obtained from the representative fire district stations. Fees for these permits range from $5 to $15 per seasonal permit.

  • Clifton- 3254 F Rd, Clifton, (970) 434-5448
  • Fruita-Lower Valley- 168 N. Mesa St, Fruita, (970) 858-3133
  • Grand Junction- 625 Ute Ave., (970) 549-5800
  • Palisade- 175 E 3rd St, Palisade, (970) 464-5602
  • DeBeque- 381 Minter Ave, DeBeque, (970) 283-8632

Permits for those in the following fire districts may be obtained at the Mesa County Health Department located at 510 29 1/2 Road. A fee of $10 will be charged for each seasonal permit issued.

  • East Orchard Mesa
  • Central Orchard Mesa
  • Whitewater/Landsend Fire Districts

Active "for profit" farmers and ranchers are exempt from the requirement to obtain an open burning permit in the State of Colorado.  This exemption applies only to farmers and ranchers of agricultural lands who are producing agricultural products that originate from the land’s productivity for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit. Agricultural products are plant and animal products derived from farming, ranching, animal husbandry, and horticulture.  Specifically, the land owners property tax will include the agricultural reduction in taxable value.  State tax code defines agricultural land as:

"A parcel of land, whether located in an incorporated or unincorporated area and despite the uses for  which such land is zoned, which was used the previous two years and presently is used as a farm or ranch, and the gross income resulting from such use  equals or exceeds one-third of the total gross  income resulting from all uses of the land during any  given property tax year."

Commercial and industrial related open burning permits or permits for burning outside of the above districts may be issued at the Health Department.

Restricted Materials
Open burning of the following materials is prohibited:

  • Residential household trash
  • Leaf or grass clipping piles
  • Commercial and industrial waste
  • Rubber, plastics, tires, insulation, or similar dense or toxic smoke producing materials

Remember, if it doesn't constitute annual vegetative growth, it probably shouldn't be burned!

Daytime Open Burning Restrictions
All open burning activities may commence no sooner than two hours after sunrise and must end no later than two hours before sunset. At no times should materials be allowed to burn or smolder overnight.

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