The open burning window in Castle Valley, Grand County and the State of Utah is a period of time when it is safe to burn yard debris like tree limbs, leaves, grass, tumbleweeds and other material that is collected from yard maintenance, It is also the time to burn irrigation ditches, culverts and fence lines along side roads of grass and tumbleweeds that grow during the season.

The open burn window usually closes around mid-April but the State Department of Natural Resources might close the window earlier in the spring if the weather becomes hot and too dangerous for open burning. The burn window is usually closed between April and October when no open burning is allowed except with a permit from the County Fire Warden. Sometimes during extra dangerous conditions during the summer all open fires like campfires, smoking, shooting and similiar activities are also banned.

SHERIFF DISPATCH: 435-259-8115.

Castle Valley is in Area 12.
Click here to see the current clearing index.

Link to Utah Airshed Clearing Index

During the open burn season between October through April, open burning is allowed only if the clearing index is over 500 feet and a verbal permit permit is obtained from the Sheriff's dispatch office. The dispatcher will tell you if it is a "burn day" and ask where the burn is taking place and ask you to call back when the burn is complete. The clearing index is an air quality/smoke dispersal index used to regulate open burning and as input for othr air quality decisions throughout Utah.

NEWS RELEASE FROM:
State of Utah
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Early Season Wildfires Caused by Private Burning

Salt Lake City, Utah –Fire officials are issuing a caution as warmer weather arrives. Already this year, a handful of
fires that were initially ignited by individuals wanting to clear dead grass or dispose of organic waste have escaped
control when they were not being tended and flared up or when unexpected winds carried embers into dry grass.
Every spring, fire departments throughout Utah respond to dozens of fenceline and debris burns that escape control.
These fires destroy rangeland, private property and homes. As conditions dry out, these are typically the first wildland
fires of the season and they are all preventable. Fire management officers recommend taking some simple precautions
before igniting to ensure fewer escaped fires.

1. Clear away vegetation to create firebreaks between burn areas and adjacent fields, structures and trees
2. Never burn on windy days, check your local weather forecast and plan to have fire out cold before afternoon
winds develop
3. Keep a charged hose and a shovel nearby (if a hose isn’t possible, 5-gallon water buckets)
4. Never leave the fire unattended
5. Notify your local fire department of your intention to burn; some departments may offer to put a fire engine on
standby at your burn.

Notification of the nearest fire department before burning is required by law in ALL CASES (failure to do so is a
Class B misdemeanor). Many of the costly and embarrassing experiences so far this year could have been avoided
with a simple phone call. Preparation beforehand can make the difference between success and disaster. In addition to
preparations, slow and gradual lighting of an area allows for greater control of a fire’s pace.

Open burning is regulated on a state level by state law and rule. Most counties and cities also have ordinances, so,
people wishing to burn fields, ditches and waste piles should determine whether it is legal to burn before lighting
anything. Yard debris and slash piles are governed by stricter county and city laws, so the public should consult local
ordinances. In addition, many areas are subject to Department of Environmental Quality requirements. It is always the responsibility of the person lighting and tending the fire to take the needed precautions and prevent its
escape. A permit or notification call does not relieve a person from liability if the fire gets away or
damages someone else’s property, so good judgment is advised. Fire suppression is expensive.
If the fire gets away –then what?

Despite preparations, fire can still escape. If things begin to get out of hand, regardless of whether the fire is legal or
not, it should be PUT OUT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
If it escapes control, do not put yourself or others at risk, call 911 immediately.

Burning is not the only option for getting rid of debris; in fact it is a major source of air pollution. Many landfills have
sites available for organic material disposal. Cities and counties restrict open burning to October through May
and a permit is required in most cases after May 31.

Contact: Jason Curry
FFSL Public Information Officer
(801) 538-7302 or (801) 703-0225
jasoncurry@utah.gov