The Utah County Fire Marshal's Office has set Monday, April 15 through Tuesday, May 14 as this year's open-burning period.

According to Fire Marshal Tom Wroe, spring yard cleanups often leave homeowners with piles of limbs, weeds and other vegetation. However, this period is the only time Utah County residents who are not engaged in agricultural or horticultural activities can openly burn debris accumulated from property cleanups.The burning period is provided by the Utah Air Quality Division of the State Department of Health and Human Services. The division stipulates that materials to be burned must be dry and that no trash rubbish, tires or oil are to be used to start fires or are included in the material to be burned, Wroe said.

Also, he said local fire departments will provide residents with permits required for open burning. In unincorporated areas of the county, residents must obtain burning permits from the county fire marshal's office (370-8885).

With this year's milder and drier winter season, Wroe cautioned residents to be extremely careful when burning, making sure the burning takes place in clear areas and that a responsible person attends the fire with water, shovels or other fire-extinguishing equipment on hand.

Wroe also suggests burning piles to the extinguishing point to prevent the embers rekindling and getting out of control.

Wroe said that whenever possible, residents should use solid-waste disposal services to dispose of cleanup piles or take them to designated landfills.