Agriculture burning season about to ignite in Routt County | SteamboatToday.com

Agriculture burning season about to ignite in Routt County

Staff report

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Routt County wildland fire group is urging area residents to respect property rights and air quality and use proper burning procedures as agricultural burning becomes more prevalent with the arrival of spring.

The group consists of the Routt County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue and the North Routt, Oak Creek, West Routt and Yampa fire protection districts.

Agricultural open burning plays a vital role in the farming and ranching community by removing agricultural refuse and replacing nutrients in the soil, and it is governed by state and local regulations.

Agricultural open burning is defined as "the burning of cover vegetation for the purpose of preparing the soil for crop production, weed control, maintenance of water conveyance structures related to agricultural operations, and other agricultural cultivation purposes." Open burning of animal parts or carcasses and the burning of household trash, wood and yard debris on agricultural land is not considered agricultural burning.

Prior to any agricultural burning, the Routt County Communications Center should be notified at 970-879-1110, and there is no fee for this courtesy notification.

Permits are required for any open burn in Routt County, and Routt County Communications will ask for a permit number when they receive open burn notifications. Permits are handled through local fire departments.

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To ensure a safe environment for agricultural and ditch burning, the following recommendations should be followed.

• Know the predicted weather conditions for the day of the burn — erratic winds can quickly push a fire out of control in dry fuels

• Don't burn on windy days

• Notify neighbors about the burn

• Have a shovel and water to extinguish the fire

• Clear and remove debris down to bare soil around power poles and state right-of-way fences to keep fire from damaging these structures

• Dig a fire line if vegetation is continuous and will carry the fire beyond your planned burn area

• Never leave a fire unattended

Contact the local fire department or Routt County Environmental Health Department at 970-870-5588 for more information.