Boone County Fire Protection District Warns Residents to Use Caution During Open Burning
Gale Blomenkamp, Bureau Director/ PIO - Monday, March 09, 2015

With the lack of snowfall and temperatures on the rise for this week, the Boone County Fire Protection District would like to offer these reminders to the citizens of Boone County who choose to burn during the coming weeks, however we would ask that NO BURNING occur when wind speeds exceed 5-10 mph.

Remember, during the winter months, grasses and weeds either die off or go dormant which means there is no uptake of moisture into the plant during the late winter or early spring and even though we have had some rain and snow this winter and the ground is wet, the weeds and grasses are extremely dry.

Here are a few reminders for everyone to follow:
• If you live in the County there is open burning for natural vegetation. If you live within the city limits of Columbia you will need a burn permit issued by the Columbia Fire Department. Please check with your local municipality for regulations on burning.
• Check local weather forecasts prior to any open burning. Winds can be very sporadic this time of year.
• Winds are typically calmer and humidity is typically higher during the morning hours.
• Be sure to provide a safe barrier around your prescribed burn. This may be achieved by mowing a clean strip around the area or by scrapping it down to bare dirt.
• Have a water source nearby. A garden hose works well if used early in the event of a fire moving to quickly.
• Never burn materials that are close to any structure.
• Burn small areas at a time.
• Never leave a fire area unattended whether it is a burn barrel or a prescribed burn.
• If burning in a barrel try to place a metal screen to avoid large embers from escaping the barrel. These embers can travel some distance and still start a fire.
• Notify the Joint Communications Center at 573-442-6131 prior to lighting your fire.
• Call 911 immediately if the fire grows larger or moves more rapidly than anticipated.
• If your fire burns out of control and causes damage to someone else’s property, you will be held liable for damages. This includes buildings, crops and even grasses.
• When in doubt call your local fire department for advice before burning.

The Boone County Fire District anticipates a very busy fire season. The typical natural cover fire season is just beginning and will continue through March and into April. Only when the grasses turn green and the weeds come out of dormancy will we see a slow down here in Boone County.

For more information contact the Boone County Fire Protection District at 573-447-5000 during normal business hours and 573-219-0677 during nights and weekends or your local fire jurisdiction.

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