Spring open burn season is underway in Mesa County. This means residents
can burn dry weeds and small tree and shrub trimmings as part of their spring
cleanup efforts.
Burning isn’t the healthiest option, however. Smoke can exacerbate
symptoms in those with asthma, allergies or other respiratory issues. Because
of the Grand Valley’s geography, smoke from open burning can be trapped in the
atmosphere, causing symptoms to linger in those affected for days or weeks.
of burning, consider these alternatives:

  • Take yard waste to the Mesa County Organic Materials composting
    facility at Mesa County Solid Waste, 3071 U.S. Hwy. 50. The facility accepts
    material for composting at no charge and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Tuesday – Saturday. For more information, call (970) 255-0754.
  • Compost leaves and grass clippings yourself. This can improve
    water retention in your yard or garden.
  • Rent or borrow a wood chipper for your tree and shrub trimmings.
    Chipped branches can also be good mulch.
If you
are going to burn, know the rules:

  • A permit is
    required. Get one from your local fire department or Mesa County Health
  • You may only
    burn: dry agricultural debris, dry weeds and tree or shrub trimmings under
    1 inch in diameter. All materials must burn cleanly.
  • Burn piles
    should be no larger than 8 x 8 square feet.
  • A permit holder
    must be present during the entire burn.
  • Open burning is
    limited to daylight hours from March 1 to May 31 and Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.
    Fires should not be started until two hours after sunrise and should be
    out two hours before sunset.
  • Do not burn
    during sustained winds over 10 miles per hour.
  • Have fire breaks
    and water or another extinguishing method on hand. 
  • Do not burn
    commercial or industrial waste, household trash, piles of leaves or grass
    clippings, green wood, treated lumber, rubber tires, wires or petroleum
  • Agricultural
    burning is exempt from the permit requirement on properties zoned
    agricultural and used for agricultural income.
The Mesa County Health Department issues No Burn Alerts when
weather conditions could make it dangerous or unsafe to burn. Likewise, the
NOAA can declare Red Flag Days and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office can impose
fire bans. Those override any open burn permit.
For more
information on open burning or to obtain a permit through the Mesa County
Health Department, call (970) 248-6966 or visit health.mesacounty.us/openburn.