May 6, 2015

Burn bans safety issue

By ALLAN TINKER

With a barrage of warnings for nearly every weather and road dangerous condition, many area residents seem to be paying little heed to burn bans and information presented about current conditions in their areas. This worries many officials charged with public safety rules and enforcement, including Sheridan County Sheriff Trent Naser.

Until April 30, the entire state of North Dakota was included in a burn ban to continue for areas in the North Dakota Fired Danger Rating designated as High, Very High or Extreme and/or when a Red Flag Warning had been issued for any area.

This order was subject to being rescinded or extended at any time by order of the Governor. This ban may still be in effect, so care is required of all residents to check before igniting any outdoor fire for any reason.

"This burn ban prohibits controlled burning in designated areas," emphasized Naser. "This is not meant to be a punitive measure nor is it intended to delay field work or other usually necessary burning. But, public safety is the issue and the bans need to be followed. We have and we will fine those who violate the burn bans," he added. Losing property, buildings and possibly, lives, is not worth the risk from burning when there are extremely dry conditions, wind and a large amount of grass, weeds and other residue dry and ready to flare in an instant.

Reports of burns jumping as far as a quarter mile under pressure of wind in other areas this spring were received, said Naser. Some of those who observed fires go out of control in the Goodrich and Lincoln areas of North Dakota stated they didn’t think fire could move that fast. They became believers this spring.

Also, on top of the loss of property and buildings, lies the liability for those who burn in such conditions, especially in defiance or ignorance of the burn bans in effect. "Call your local police," Naser stated. "They will either know and direct you in the burning conditions or find someone who can assist you. If things are okay, you may receive permission to burn i


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