Archive for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Douglas County issues blanket burn ban for upcoming month

March 18, 2014

Douglas County issued a burn ban today that will stay in place for the next month, yet still allow some opportunity for burning pasture at safe times.

Prompted by an unusually high number of out-of-control grass fires in recent weeks, the ban is unlike any the county has ever issued, County Administrator Craig Weinaug said.

The blanket ban will remain in effect until April 16. During that time, the county will rely on the National Weather Service’s Rangeland Fire Danger Forecast — which is updated frequently — to indicate periods when it is safe to burn.

Burning will be prohibited any time the Rangeland Fire Danger is listed as very high or extreme, or when a Red Flag Warning is issued. Outside of those times, burning will be allowed but Weinaug urged residents to do so with caution. Landowners wishing to burn pasture are urged to call their local township fire departments to let them know, as a precaution.

“Because it’s been so cold, the normal spring vegetation hasn’t started up yet to mix in with all the dry fuel on the ground,” Weinaug said. “And when it gets very, very windy, any fire that’s set has danger of getting out of hand.”

How can residents find out when they can burn and when they can’t? There are three options.

• Go online to the following link to see the Rangeland Fire Danger Forecast, and look for Douglas County: http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=TOP&product=RFD&issuedby=TOP

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