Every spring and summer, residents across the state may consider burning materials at their residence or property. In addition, some large scale vegetative burns are conducted to promote healthy forests and rangelands. However, there are specific requirements and regulations, which must be followed prior to such activities.
According to Nancy Vehr, Air Quality Division (AQD) Administrator, state and federal laws place certain restrictions and requirements on specific burning practices including the burning of refuse, trade wastes, leaves and other vegetative material, fire hazards and emergency purposes, salvage operations, and firefighting training.
"We want to make sure Wyomingites are aware of what they can and cannot burn in the state," said Vehr. "These laws are in place to ensure our air quality remains pristine and the general public's health is not put at risk."
Prohibited materials not allowed to burn include rubber, plastic, asphalt shingles, sheetrock, insulation, railroad ties, treated lumber, tar, explosives, ammunition, batteries, asbestos, hazardous waste, oil, PVC, and insulated wires.
As some vegetative material is allowed to be burned, DEQ requires the public to submit an open burn request before any burn takes place. Staff will assist and review the request for approval of the planned burn.
"There are several questions residents need to have answered prior to a planned burn," added Vehr. "For instance, is there a burn ban? Where is the proposed burn located? What are you burning? How close are you to neighboring structures? When are you planning to burn? All of this information is very crucial."
To find out more information or to work with an Opening Burning staff member, please visit the AQD’s Smoke Management and Open Burning web page at http://deq.wyoming.gov/aqd/smoke-management-and-open-burning/, or call the DEQ Open Burning Program at 307-777-7391.
Additionally, AQD developed a guidance brochure to help assist the public on requirements specific to opening burning practices. Click here to download.