Some Carson Valley residents see backyard burning as a right, while others see it as a nuisance.
The reality is that burning exists in the territory between those two extremes.
While agricultural burners can claim some traditional authorization to burn under the county’s right to farm ordinance, there is no such protection for backyard burners.
And any time a backyard burn gets out of control, it is another weight on the balance toward banning burning.
Last year’s TRE fire was enough of a weight to get fall burning cancelled entirely. But with a little bit of moisture during the winter, and some calm days, firefighters feel comfortable reopening it.
That shows a lot of trust on their behalf for those who burn. Earning that trust will be critical in the coming months. We’ve heard the fire district plans on doing a major rewrite of the burning ordinance, and a bad season will add fuel to the argument for reducing or banning backyard burning.
And agricultural burners are not immune from any move to reduce the amount of smoke in the Valley.
We know that firefighters will be keeping a close watch for those who are violating the rules, endangering their ability to burn in the future and running the risk of being cited.
We call on all of Carson Valley’s backyard burners to be careful this season. No one wants to be responsible for someone’s house burning down. Let’s all work together to make sure that doesn’t happen.