Montrose, COLO.—In anticipation of agriculture burning season, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of important safety tips regarding controlled burns. Agricultural burning can help producers remove leftover crop residue, clear ditches for improved water flow, and improve soil conditions. It often occurs in the spring to prepare for the planting season.

“Uncontrolled burns happen every year,” said Sheriff Gene Lillard. “While they are almost always accidental, they are also preventable. An uncontrolled burn that enters another person’s private property, even accidentally, can have both civil and criminal penalties. I am asking for the public’s help—please call into dispatch when you burn. This phone call is key as it helps save resources for emergency situations.”

Though snowpack is high, the threat of an uncontrolled burn remains. Residents are encouraged to take precautions when burning. Below are tips for safe burning:

• Call dispatch at 970-249-9110 to report your controlled burn.
• Do NOT burn on Red Flag days.
• Be prepared before beginning a burn with items to help put the fire out. A hose, bucket, steel rake, and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire are great tools to have on hand.
• Burn early in the day; winds start in the afternoon so avoid burning then.
• Stay with a fire until it is completely out.
• Plow a fire line around the area to be burned if necessary.
• Separate large fields into smaller plots to stay in control of the burn.
• Always check the weather; avoid burning in low humidity conditions.

Don’t forget to sign-up for Montrose County Emergency Alerts at Please visit for more information on regional wildfires and fire restrictions.