The Las Cruces Fire Department will stop issuing burn permits for open burning of vegetation effective Friday, May 6, 2022.
The temporary ban on open burning is necessary because of severe drought conditions in Dona Ana County. Southern New Mexico, including Las Cruces, is experiencing severe drought conditions as indicated by the National Weather Service and the United States Drought Monitor, a collection of measures that allow experts to assess drought across the country.
Current conditions pose a fire hazard and a significant threat to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of our community. After review of all measures and forecasts, the Las Cruces Fire Department determined that it is necessary to restrict open burning within municipal boundaries.
The open-burn restrictions will remain in effect until the Las Cruces Fire Department determines the fire hazard is no longer a significant threat.
According to the 2015 International Fire Code, adopted by Las Cruces City Ordinance, open burning is defined as, “the burning of materials wherein products of combustion are omitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include road flares, smudge pots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames.” The restrictions do not include recreational outdoor fires such as grills, firepits or fireplaces whether they are fixed or portable.
LCFD urges the following safe practices for recreational fires:
- Keep plenty of water, such as a garden hose, nearby.
- At least one adult should monitor the fire at all times.
- Children should be kept a safe distance away.
- Keep recreational fires at least 25 feet from structures, vegetation or combustible material.
- Do not use recreational fires during severe winds or storms.
Las Cruces residents who would normally burn yard waste are encouraged to utilize the City’s Green Grappler Service. Green Grappler Requirements:
- Ensure tree branches are less than 5 feet in length and less than 5 inches in diameter.
- Stack branches neatly at the curb.
- Bag grass clippings and leaves in clear plastic bags so the grappler operator can see it is yard waste and not trash.
Yard waste collected by the Green Grappler Service is taken to the Old Foothills Landfill and recycled into composted mulch. For more information on the Green Grappler Service, visit www.las-cruces.org/1377/Grappler-Services.