News Release: Colorado Offers Course to Help Private Landowners Conduct Safer Prescribed Burns

Colorado Offers Course to Help Private Landowners Conduct Safer Prescribed Burns

The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) is helping private landowners learn how to be safer when conducting low complexity pile burns on their own land by teaching a class that offers limited civil liability to those who successfully complete the course and accompanying task book.

In 2013, Gov. Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 13-083, the “Colorado Prescribed Burning Act,” into law which created a prescribed burning program in the Division of Fire Prevention and Control. According to DFPC Director Paul Cooke, “the Act does not require private landowners to obtain any certification in order to conduct prescribed fire on their own property, but it does offer limited civil liability protection to any landowner that gets certified by the Division as a Certified Burner.”

The Certified Burner course is a 2 ½ day class that covers basic fire behavior, how and where to build piles safely, and the potential criminal and civil liability that can come with conducting prescribed burns. After the course, attendees are required to attend training burns before they receive their certification from the Division.

In addition, the Division has developed checklists for private landowners to utilize before conducting a burn and is working on developing a four hour course to help educate the public on best practices that should be utilized when burning. These tips include: obtaining the necessary state and/or local permits, checking the weather to ensure that high winds or thunderstorms will not negatively impact your burn, and notifying your neighbors, the Sheriff’s Office, and your local fire department before burning. Cooke says, “the Division is hopeful this educational outreach program will reduce the number of escaped burns conducted by private landowners.”

For more information about the Division’s Certified Burner course, contact Mike Frary at 303-445-4361 or, or visit the Division’s website at:


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