Burn ban discussion continues

By Joel Wright
Hillsboro Star Journal – April 2, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 9, 2014

After changing a stipulation last week in the county’s burn ban policy, commissioners amended those changes Monday.

At the previous meeting March 24, commissioners approved to change the policy from calling special meetings to make weeklong burn bans to banning fires for 24 hours whenever wind speeds exceeded 20 mph.

Fire contractors Nathan Brunner and Leonard Jirak of Fire 4 Hire attended the discussion, voicing their displeasure with the change.

“You’re not going to have people making a living,” Jirak said. “We haven’t had a 48-hour timeframe to burn in the last week.”

Because of the change, 74 calls for permission to burn were turned down Saturday. Emergency Manager Randy Frank said he helped respond to eight fires on Sunday alone.

“You’re not going to protect anybody,” Jirak said. “It’s going to get worse.”

After additional discussion with fire chiefs Mike Regnier and Lester Kaiser and Sheriff Rob Craft, commissioners agreed to shorten the length of the ban to 12 hours from when winds exceed 20 mph. After another weeklong trial period, commissioners will look for more feedback.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster