As of July 1, permits are now required in Nevada for any type of open burning, exempt for the burning of agricultural fields.

Rick Stever, Lincoln County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director, told County Commissioners at their regular meeting July 15, all towns, cities and counties, statewide, will have to issue permits to local citizens to do opening burning.

“The state is requiring it,” he said. “I don’t know how strict they are going to be with it,” but he said people will need to follow the state regulations.

A county can apply for permits, Stever said, then have someone designated to issue those, or each community can do their own.

For persons not living in a given community, they can get a permit from the person designated within that county. “I think all the fire departments in the communities can issue permits for people who want to clean up their yards.”

County Commissioner Paul Mathews said he wanted it stated for the record, “how ridiculous that is, to worry about how many parts per billion in pollution open burning will put out.” He said the recent wildfires on BLM lands, “have put out more parts per billion pollution than what the rest of this county is going to put out in a lifetime. Who’s doing the thinking here?”

Stever said this is something coming down from the federal government and the states are saying we have to support it. Commissioner Paul Donohue called it an “unfunded mandate.”

Various communities around Nevada already have some types of opening burning regulations in place, such as specified open burn days for the public, and others now will seek to find what works best in their county and/or community.

Stever said there is no charge to apply for a permit, it’s a one-page document.

While burning of agricultural fields is exempt, he said burning the stuff that accumulates around agricultural fields, railings, trash, twine, and other debris, will require a permit.

Stever said he will seek to contact the town board of each Lincoln County community, “to see who they want to designate to issue the permits, it might be the fire department, it might be members of the board.”

Asked how the new laws will be administered, Stever said he thought it might be done by inspectors who make periodic visits, similar to state health and food inspectors.