JOPLIN, Mo. — As temperatures change, thousands of leaves are falling across the region, and some people are turning to burning as a method of removal.

Firefighters with the Redings Mill Fire Protection District said folks are eager to get out and clean up the dead grass and leaves that come with the fall season. One way to dispose of those fallen leaves is by burning them.

Redings Mill Fire Chief Steven Coats tells us the first step is checking to see if it’s okay to burn in your area. Chief Coats says there is not currently a burn ban in Redings Mill, and a burn permit is not required.

But if you live in Joplin or Loma Linda, a burn permit is mandatory. And with a yard covered in leaves, Chief Coats said while burning is the quickest route of removal, it can quickly get out of hand if not supervised.

“They’ll rake up a big pile of leaves light it on fire and go inside to get a drink or answer a phone call or take a break for lunch. And then then the next thing you know, their neighbors should call 911 because their fire fire got out of control,” said Coats.

Chief Coats said they don’t offer controlled burns for residents but are happy to come out and offer tips. And if you don’t plan on burning, Chief Coats recommends alternatives like mulching or composting your leaves.