GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -- A discussion about establishing an open burn ban within the city limits as a proposed ordinance is making its way to the desk of city council.
An environmental group, Citizens for Clean air, is looking to put out fires in the Valley in the name of better air quality.
Open burning season takes place during five months of the year and the group said it's causing health issues to flare up for many residents.
“You are basically poisoning yourself when you do that and it needs to stop,” said Kristin Winn, a member of Citizen for Clean Air.
“It's the way of life when you live in an agriculture farming community,” said Mike Kloberdanz, a resident who supports burning in moderation.
Discussion became heated Monday night at a Clean Air Forum on a possible open burn ban within Grand Junction city limits.
“It was good discussion. There is fear that we are trying to ban agricultural burning and that has not been our focus so far,” said Winn.
Citizens for Clean Air said there are greener alternatives to burning waste.
“Rather than disposing that or burning it and polluting the atmosphere, it's much better to compost put it back into the earth, and not have that pollution,” Winn said.
Going green for some is just too costly.
“Some of these farms it's enough money to put them out of business they can't do that,” said Kloberdanz “I sympathize with the group, but if it’s a little inconvenience a couple times a year, it’s not a big thing.”
The clean air group said it’s more than inconvenience.
“It's a health issue, so if someone has asthma or and repertory issues, or allergies smoke in the air or pollution, it really causes problems,” said Winn.
“To overdo it one thing, but small, controlled fires, that don't have a lot of garbage in them,” Kloberdanz said. “Burning is the way we’ve always done and it and the way we are always going to do it.”
They hope the forum will spark a larger conversation, leading to cleaner air.
"We need to be looking at other things as well better public transportation, better trails, so people can ride their bikes and walk. And not have to use their car so much. Those are two biggies that would really help,” Winn said.
No official decision has been made yet.
City council still needs to look over the ordinance and determine to what extent they would take the ban. The group says the ban could include back yard fires unless they are gas fueled.
City council meeting will look over the proposal on Oct. 5 and there will be a public hearing on the issue on Nov. 2.