Burn Restrictions and Permitting

For residents in UNINCORPORATED areas of Summit County, the following burn restrictions apply to open residential pile burning:

  • Notification to the Summit County Dispatch at 435-336-3600 prior to any burning from April 1 through October 31.
  • Starting June 1, a burn permit MUST be obtained by calling the Summit County Fire Warden at 435-640-2075.

For residents in INCORPORATED areas Summit County (Coalville, Francis, Echo, Henefer, Kamas, Oakley), the following burn restrictions apply to open residential pile burning:

For residents in the Park City Fire District, visit their website at www.pcfd.org/permits/ for information on burning and permits.

Utah DAQ Regulations for Open Burning

Open burning is a source of air pollution that is regulated by the Division of Air Quality (DAQ). There are statewide rules in place that regulate open burning activities to help minimize emissions and ensure that the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are met. Recent modifications to these rules change the open burn periods and include a statewide requirement to obtain a permit from the local county or municipal fire authority prior to burning.

Information on the following topics can be found on the DAQ Regulations for Residential Open Burning page:

  • General Requirements
  • Permit Criteria
  • Permit Applications

Click here to be directed to the DAQ Regulations for Residential Open Burning.

Early Season Wildfires Caused by Private Burning

Important information from the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

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 fence line 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.

  • Clear away vegetation to create firebreaks between burn areas and adjacent fields, structures and trees.
  • Never burn on windy days, check your local weather forecast and plan to have fire out cold before afternoon winds develop.
  • Keep a charged hose and a shovel nearby (if a hose isn’t possible, 5-gallon water buckets).
  • Never leave the fire unattended.
  • 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.

Park Record Editorial on the Importance of Firewise Communities in Summit County

Editorial: Wildland subdivisions would be wise to plan for fire

The Park Record Editorial, Dec. 14-17, 2013

Posted:   12/13/2013 04:26:02 PM MST
With a blanket of snow covering the forest floor, it might seem like an odd time to be talking about wildfires. But, since many fire districts and homeowners associations are currently allocating their budgets for the coming year, fire protection planning should be on the top of the agenda.

The Pine Meadow subdivision, located in the rugged, wooded terrain north of Interstate 80 in Summit County, has already begun laying the groundwork for annexation into the North Summit Fire District. No doubt homeowners there still have vivid memories of last summer’s fast-moving Rockport fire that darkened their skies but thankfully never jumped the freeway. They are smart to be joining forces with the North Summit firefighters who proved their extraordinary skills by preventing any loss of life and significantly limiting property damage during that sudden conflagration.

The leaders of the Summit Park Homeowners Association are also trying to make their neighborhood safer by establishing a fund to maintain their existing firebreaks. But they are running into resistance from some homeowners. Their hope is to raise funds by making their HOA dues mandatory. As proposed, the fee would be $50 per year, which seems like a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with wildfire prevention.

Ten years ago, Summit Park was praised for its community-wide fire prevention efforts that included public education, removal of deadwood and clearing branches away from structures.

The neighborhood also applied for and received funding to establish a fire break along its borders. At the time Summit Park was heralded as a “Firewise Community.”

We are hoping that residents come around again and support their leaders’ efforts to be proactive before the summer heat and wildfire worries return.

And they aren’t the only communities that should be engaging in similar discussions. From the foothills of the Uinta Mountains to the Jordanelle, and from Deer Crest to the northern reaches of the Snyderville basin, property owners, neighbors, service districts and associations should be taking a hard look at their fire protection plans and setting aside funds to ensure they are carried out.

When the next wildfire ignites in their area they will be considered heroes for their foresight.

Updated Burn Permit Information

As of November 1, burn permits are not required for areas of Unincorporated Summit County. Please contact Summit County Dispatch at 435-336-3600 before starting the burn. This will prevent the need to unnecessarily respond to a reported fire since they have been alerted of the burn.

However, the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is still requiring that before you burn you contact them to confirm that the clearing index is suitable for a burn. Call them at 801-536-4400. Visit http://www.airquality.utah.gov/Compliance/OpenBurning/index.htm for more information on DAQ requirements.

Burn permits will again be required starting June 1, 2014.