Open Burning



Click here for Open Burn Permit application You may also pick up permit applications at our office, 469 E. Topaz in Granby.

You are allowed one campfire per property at any time, without a permit or notification required, as long as there is NO red flag warning in effect or a Countywide fire restriction in effect.  A campfire is no larger than 3 ft x 3 ft x 2 ft. 

About Open Burning in Grand County

Under a delegation of authority from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Grand County allows large-scale open burning during the winter months only and only during favorable air quality conditions.  Our program only applies to private property owners and slash piles, not trash or buildings. The opening and closing of burn season is dependent on the weather and the presence of sufficient, permanent snowpack throughout most of the county. As a result, start and end dates vary from year to year, but generally, the burn season runs from late November through March. Grand County Division of Natural Resources begins issuing open burn permits in mid-October and opens the season when there is sufficient snowpack countywide. These permits are valid for an entire burn season and expire on or around April 1, whenever the snowpack is not sufficient for safe burning.

The general conditions of the permit are as follows:

  • A permit is required if your pile(s) exceed campfire size, 3 ft. x 3 ft. x 3 ft. 
  • Permits must be applied for by the property owner
  • Permit season is only during winter months with appropriate snow cover.
  • Approval must be given by Grand County Natural Resources (GCNR) for ignition on a daily basis during the burn season.
  • Inspection of piles may be required by GCNR prior to the permit being issued.
  • The burn area will be attended at all times while flames are present.
  • The permit must be on-site with the individual supervising the burn.
  • Hazardous or toxic materials or construction debris cannot be burned in an open burn pile - only untreated wood is permitted in a burn pile.
  • It is recommended that pile sizes not be larger than 15 ft x 15 ft x 10 ft to allow for maximum opportunity to burn but there is no set maximum size.
  • Piles and material in piles should be dried for a minimum of one year prior to ignition unless you are piling already dead material. Large diameter material (greater than 6 inches in diameter) cannot exceed 30% of the pile density.
  • Stumps and/or dirt are not allowed in open burn piles and piles containing dirt/stumps cannot be permitted.
  • Homeowner association (HOA) regulations take primacy over county regulations.
  • Any of the above conditions not met shall render the burn permit null and void and enforcement action by Grand County and possibly the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment can result.
  • Burn season will have closures on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Years Day.

How Do We Determine Burn Days?  

We are looking for good smoke dispersal conditions allowing the smoke to go up high enough to be dispersed without impacting local air quality.  This usually means unstable air masses (Lows) and the ability for the nightly inversion to break at some point.  For more information on this please click on Grand County Burn Program Brochure and Forecast Website How-To .

Why Can’t I burn in a burn barrel?

  • It’s the law--Burn barrels are defined as incinerators using the definition given in the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) Common Provisions Regulation.  Incinerators require Construction Permits and are subject to federal and state testing requirements and regulations.  Incinerators are required by the EPA to have pollution control systems that reduce emissions.
  • Burn barrels do not combust efficiently, resulting in limited oxygen and lower temperatures that create smoke, odors and a variety of toxic pollutants like dioxins.  Dioxins are known carcinogens and can increase the risk of both short-term and long-term health problems.  Burn barrels not only impact your own health but the health of your neighbors and the environment.  The smoke created by burn barrels also creates a nuisance.

2022-23 Summary  

  • 417 Permits issued Countywide
    • Fire Protection District#1 (Granby) - 129 
    • Fire Protection District#2 (Grand Lake) - 73
    • Fire Protection District#3 (HSSP) - 21
    • Fire Protection District#4 (Fraser Valley)  - 146
    • Fire Protection District#5 (Kremmling) - 48 
  • 144 Days long (Nov. 29 to April 23) allowing a total of 782 hours of  burning. 
  • 7180 Piles permitted with 3742 piles burned (reported)
  • 10,855,348 Cubic Feet (CF) of material permitted with 7,700,720 CF burned (reported)

More Information about Open Burning

Website Resources