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Fire officials urge residents to follow city's open burning fire guidelines

Article Published 04/11/2008

By Mark Reece
April 11, 2008

LAYTON — Homeowners and gardeners, you’re in the middle of trimming the winter bite off the shrubs and trees in the front lawn. And now with this batch of twigs, you’re wondering what to do with the pile of old grass clippings and leaves you raked out back last fall.

"Can I burn it?" you ask yourself? Well, in a word, no.

Unless you own an orchard, or have two acres of farmland. And even then there are still strict open burning rules that must be complied within the city.

In either case, local and state burn ordinances are very clear: No trash or yard waste may be burned.

First rule: Call the Layton Fire Department and let them know what you want to do. They can usually tell you over the phone if you are within rights to burn. And notifying the Fire Department is required for all burns. Call them at (801) 336-3940.

Following are guidelines with regard to open burning, limited to agricultural burning or recreational fire, as defined below.

For Agricultural Burning:

• To qualify for agricultural open burning you must have two acres of farmland that is used for crop growth, or have a fruit orchard with 25 or more fruit trees.

• Agricultural open burning is limited to organic items, which are incidental, and essential to the agricultural operation.

• Examples of items which may be burned are: Fence lines on cultivated property; stubble fields; ditch banks; weeds when clearing land to be planted; and trimmings from fruit trees when in conjunction with an orchard.

• State law requires that owners who are going to burn those items notify the nearest fire department prior to burning. Notify Layton City Fire Department with: the start and end times of the burn; an address where the burning will occur; name and phone number of responsible party for the burn; and the materials that you will be burning.

• Burning is limited to daylight hours and only on days that the clean air index allows. All agricultural fires must be kept a minimum of 50 feet from structures; the responsible party must have a water supply or other means to control the fire; and the fire must be constantly attended until completely out.

• When any of the above burning is creating a public hazard, the on-duty fire officer may have the fire extinguished. When weather or other conditions make burning a hazard, such as high winds, etc., the officer on duty may deny all burning requests.

For Camp, Recreational or Cooking Fires:

• Must be clean dry wood
• Must be kept under 3 feet in pile or wood stack diameter
• Must be kept under 2 feet in pile or wood stack height
• Must be kept a minimum 25 feet from all structures, property lines and other combustibles
• Must be constantly attended by a person 18 years of age or older
• Must have bucket of water hose or other means to extinguish
• Must be used solely for cooking or recreational purposes
• Must own the property or have written permission to kindle the fire

These requirements are also listed on our Web site at