Ban on outdoor burning likely if no rain falls this week

Seneca Courier Tribune – April 2, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2014

If additional moisture isn’t received in the next couple of days, Nemaha County’s burn advisory is likely to become a total ban on outdoor fires.

County Commissioners discussed the issue Monday with Emergency Preparedness Director Todd Swart.

Area fire departments were busy on Sunday as strong southerly winds kicked up embers from smoldering brush piles and started quick-moving fires in dry pastures and crop fields, Swart said.

Third District Commissioner Dennis Henry said he received a call from the Bern Fire Chief, whose department has been “run to death” dealing with recent fires. No structures have been damaged so far, he said. “We’ve been lucky so far. How long is it going to continue?”

Firefighters struggled to contain a blaze near Centralia Sunday that was spreading across debris from a harvested corn field, Swart said. “That stuff was jumping 100 yards,” in the high winds, he said. Additionally, several smaller fires appeared to have been set in the area. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating.

Rain is in the forecast for later this week, Swart noted. Farmers have an April 15 deadline to burn CRP pastures.

“If we don’t get any rain, let’s revisit this at the end of the week,” said Commission Chairman Tim Burdick.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster