Letter: Burning brush often a lazy act | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Burning brush often a lazy act

I’m writing to ask Garfield County officials to implement limitations on burning in rural areas of Garfield County. On Feb. 24, the entire town of Carbondale wreaked of putrid smoke from all four corners of the town’s limits.

Carbondale town officials have no jurisdiction over burning done on rural properties along Catherine’s Store and Tom Bailey’s property — or up 133 toward Redstone. The Carbondale Fire Department was not notified of any controlled burns today in the area — yet it happened.

What right does anyone — especially the very wealthy property owner “ranchers” of this area — have to pollute the very air that every other human being and animal in the area breathes? How is it still legal for someone to aggravate the asthmatic or allergic conditions that anyone else may have, or increase someone else’s risk of lung cancer because they can’t afford to haul their dead brush to the dump — even if they are worth millions or billions of dollars?

Why is everyone else forced to breathe this stench that sits like a stinking burnt blanket over the entire town and is so thick that it penetrates your car when you turn into town, and even penetrates your closed up house?

Open burning needs to be limited to instances of absolute necessity along ditches, and people who are allowed to burn should be required to demonstrate financial hardship in order to be allowed to burn dead brush that could be hauled to the dump instead.

I have personally witnessed multiple burns while floating along the stretch of river just upvalley of Carbondale, where landowner(s) could have easily removed brush instead of torching it. I’m sure many residents all over Garfield County are fed up breathing smoke — especially when there are so many other toxic drilling contaminants in the air as well.

Burning brush is too often a lazy, irresponsible act that adds to the carbon footprint on the planet, presents public safety and health hazards, and I strongly encourage officials to create and enforce legislation to limit this irresponsible behavior.

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