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Open and Pile Burning Tips


In La Plata County there are four Fire Protection Districts and you will need to follow your District's process for your pile burn to be compliant. 
Find your District here.

Get information on burning in Durango Fire Protection District.
Get information on burning in Upper Pine River Fire Protection District.

Helpful tips to enjoy your time burning
  • Create piles which are 4'x4'x4' in circumference.
  • Slash should be 4' diameter or less, dry, tall and compact. Poorly constructed piles take longer to consume.
  • Locate piles at least 30' from structures.
  • Locate piles at least 10' from trees, shrubs and overhanging branches.
  • Heat and flame will move quicker upslopes therefore place piles further from fuel and consider smaller piles.
  • Clear to mineral soil around each pile and if possible wet around pile.
  • Carry a weed sprayer filled with water and use to wet around piles.
  • Burning on wet days and especially days with snow on the ground is recommended.
  • Monitor the pile and ensure it is completely out by sunset.
  • Keep trash from the piles.
  • Wear ember resistant clothing and avoid clothing such as down jackets that will easily melt. 
  • Obtain a local permit if required by your Fire Protection District.
  • If piles are dry wadded paper should ignite them. Other options are drip torches and propane weed burners. Using straight gas is dangerous and should be avoided. 
  • Monitor the weather forecast and burn on low wind days.
  • Burn in the morning when humidity is higher and winds are lower.
  • Call central dispatch prior to ignition and notify them of your plans to pile burn and create smoke.
  • Let your neighbors know your plans to burn, they can assist and support your plans and making it a community and kid-friendly activity creates an opportunity for shared stewardship. 
  • If you are uncertain, do not burn. Instead, reach your Fire Protection District and ask questions so you are prepared.
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