March's winter storm Xylia still has a lot of our yards looking unsightly. But as tempting as it may be, don't set fire to those fallen branches and limbs.

According to a press release from the City of Fort Collins, burning yard waste — including anything except for clean, dry, untreated and seasoned wood — is forbidden within city limits.

"Smoke and odor from outdoor burning can be considered a public nuisance. It can negatively impact neighbors, especially those with existing respiratory illnesses, children, and older populations," read the release. "Furthermore, many community members are recovering from COVID-19 and may be more sensitive to poor air quality."

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However, yard waste can be properly disposed of at various City sites for free. The sites will be accepting drop-offs until May 7.

If you do plan on having an outdoor fire, keep the following in mind:

  • Burn only clean, dry, untreated and seasoned wood (no yard waste or garbage, in case you missed that memo).
  • Fires must be a least 15 feet from any property, structure, or flammable surface.
  • Fires must be completely extinguished by 10 p.m. and are not allowed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • A competent person and an extinguishment method must be by the fire at all times.

If you are being negatively impacted by someone's fire, you can issue a complaint online here or by calling the City's Nuisance Hotline at (970) 416-2200. Relay any non-emergency concerns to (970) 221-6540.

Keep up to date with Fort Collins' air quality here. And if you're really craving a bonfire, maybe stick to your fireplace instead (just don't put yard waste in it).

Photo Gallery: 2012 High Park Fire