Burn ban issued for Osage County – effective immediately

A range fire in northern Lyon County along the Osage County line on March 20 sets the sky aglow with flames and smoke. Photo by Matthew Fowler, Emporia Gazette.

 

The Osage County commissioners approved a burn ban Monday covering the entire county, due to recent dry weather and high winds that have fanned numerous fires.

The commissioners authorized the ban following recommendations of Bryce Romine, Osage County emergency management coordinator, Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn, and local fire chiefs due to the presence of dry conditions and lack of moisture that increase fire danger in Osage County. The burn ban resolution is in effect when the rangeland fire danger is very high or extreme or a red flag warning is issued. These conditions have created multiple fire calls over the past few weeks.

“Fire districts have spent thousands and thousands of dollars for suppression costs, in addition to a great amount of property damage from uncontrolled fires,” Romine said.

During the burn ban the following activities are prohibited outdoors:

  • Careless use and disposal of smoking materials, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes; all smoldering remains shall be discarded in inflammable containers and in a manner to reduce the potential for fires.
  • Building, maintaining, attending or using any open fire or campfire, except in permanent stoves or fireplaces or in barbecue grills in developed recreational sites or on residential home sites.
  • Burning of all fencerows, fields, wild lands, ravines, trash, debris areas or materials.

The county’s resolution states, “As provided in K.S.A. 48-939, the knowing or willful violation of any restrictions adopted pursuant to this resolution shall constitute a Class A misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided by law therefore.”

Rangeland fire danger information can be found on the Osage County website at www.osageco.org under Emergency Management or Osage County Sheriff, or at www.facebook.com/osagecoem.

County officials ask that anyone planning to burn check the rangeland fire danger and contact Osage County Sheriff office at 785-828-3121 before burning, and report their name and location of burn.

Romine reported Monday that county fire departments had received 195 fire calls in the last 30 days and 156 of those calls were reporting grass fires. Dunn said a number of the calls were due to controlled burns, but required a response by fire crews because the burns had not been reported to the sheriff’s office prior to being set.

The emergency resolution signed by commissioners is effective immediately and runs through April 28 or until further notice. The burn ban covers the unincorporated portions of the county; residents of incorporated cities should abide by local regulations regarding burning inside city limits.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Romine at 785-828-3323 or Dunn at 785-828-3121.

See the burn ban resolution here.

 

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas