As summer approaches in Wyoming, it is not unusual to see piles of vegetation or refuse being burned around the state.
Some burning is conducted in national forests as a way to control undergrowth and some is from clean-up activities on personal property.
Wherever it occurs, Chapter 10 of the Wyoming Air Quality Standards and Regulations has specific requirements for controlling smoke from burning waste, refuse, and vegetation, which is referred to as “open burning.”
It regulates any material that is burned in the open (i.e. not in a furnace or incinerator) that is not for recreational purposes, cooking, to provide warmth for humans or animals, or for fire extinguisher training.
These requirements and restrictions are to protect the health of Wyoming residents by ensuring any burning occurs well away from populated areas and by preventing the burning of any hazardous material such as tires, asphalt shingles, railroad ties, and other materials that release hazardous pollutants into the air.
Anyone planning to conduct an open burn should contact the Wyoming Air Quality Division to see if there are any restrictions on the material to be burned and if it is necessary to obtain a permit.
More information can be found at the Wyoming Air Division Smoke Management website at http://deq.wyoming.gov/aqd/smoke-management-and-open-burning/.
A copy of Wyoming’s smoke management and open burning regulations can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at https://rules.wyo.gov/.