Taking a proactive approach, Boulder County has passed Ordinance 2012-02, developing a permitting system that will encompass public health, local fire protection districts and Boulder County requirements in a “one stop” online application process. In addition, permits can be obtained by mail or picked up in person at many of the county’s public buildings after July 5.
In January, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation enacting Senate Bill 11-110, which requires that “certain boards of County Commissioners develop an open burning permit system for the purpose of safely disposing of slash.”
The intent of the legislation is to provide a safe alternative (i.e. burning slash) to reduce hazardous fuels on state and private lands. Ultimately, this system will improve general public safety and forest health by safely disposing of slash. No permit is needed for agricultural burning and recreational campfires as these activities are exempt from the state law and county ordinance.
The law requires that the permitting system:
- Inform the landowner of appropriate considerations for safe and effective use of fire as a tool to remove unwanted forest and fire mitigation slash.
- Reinforce knowledge of local requirements of homeowner association covenants, fire protection district restrictions, and county ordinances to increase public awareness and protect public safety.
The streamlined process will ensure that the applicant has received educational materials providing safe guidelines for open burning. These include consideration of smoke impacts to sensitive receptors, forestry basics, safe burning tips, and notification of legal responsibilities. The process also ensures that public safety is considered during application review.
Due to current weather and fuels conditions, a fire ban is in place and all open burning within unincorporated Boulder County is illegal.
Please contact the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office’s Fire Management unit at 303-441-4500 with any questions about the new system, requests for mailed applications, or to offer any comments.
Resources on the Web
Main page: www.BoulderCounty.org/safety/fire/Pages/openburnpermit.aspx
Online app: http://webpubapps.bouldercounty.org/Sheriff/SH_OpenBurnPermit
Printable app: www.BoulderCounty.org/find/library/publicsafety/burnpermitapp.pdf