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Open Burn season closes Friday, Oct. 1, in Mendenhall Valley & Lemon Creek

September 30, 2021 – FYI, News

From October 1 through April 30, all open burning is prohibited in the Mendenhall Valley and Lemon Creek areas. This is the area between Vanderbilt Hill Road and Fritz Cove Road.

Open burning, which is not allowed in those areas starting Friday, includes the use of burn barrels, the burning of debris piles, and any other outdoor burning activity. Cooking, warming, or signaling fires that are less than three feet in diameter with flame lengths no more than two feet high are still allowed. Commercially manufactured outdoor cooking and heating devices with built-in open flame safety devices are also allowed.

The purpose for the open burn season closure during the winter months is due to the possibility of an air inversion, which is intensified by the natural “bowl” shape of the Mendenhall Valley. On windless, winter days, normal atmospheric conditions can become inverted: a layer of warm air prevents cold air from escaping and acts like a lid, trapping wood smoke and other pollutants in the Valley’s air. This can cause health concerns for people with difficulty breathing, as well as reduced visibility and overall odor complaints.

Areas outside the area between Vanderbilt Hill Road and Fritz Cove Road are allowed to have open burning, though you must have a current and valid open burn permit.

For more information, contact Capital City Fire/Rescue at 586-5322.