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Archive for Thursday, August 15, 2002

Burn ban remains in county

August 15, 2002

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Even a morning's worth of steady rain wasn't enough to douse Douglas County's need for a burn ban.

The county's prohibition on setting open fires will remain in effect through midnight Friday, said Paula Phillips, the county's emergency management director. Bans also remain in effect in Baldwin and Eudora.

Jere McElhaney, chairman of the county commission, imposed the burn ban Friday, citing persistent dry weather and oppressive drought conditions as being ripe for fanning uncontrolled fires.

Tuesday's half-inch or so of rain helped matters, Phillips said, but couldn't dampen need for the prohibition.

"It's a good start," she said. "The rain was needed, but we just didn't get enough."

The ongoing ban prohibits:

Building, maintaining, attending or using any open fire or campfire, except in permanent stoves or fireplaces, or barbecue grills in developed recreational or residential sites.

Burning of fence rows, fields, wildlands, ravines, trash, debris or other materials.

Carelessly using and disposing of smoking materials, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes.

Violations are punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500.

Phillips said she intended to meet Friday with McElhaney to determine whether the ban should be allowed to expire.

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