Burn ban still in effect, for nowAfter a poll of the nine local fire chiefs whose fire halls are located within the county, the Stutsman County Commission agreed at its meeting Tuesday to keep the burn ban in effect — for now.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
After a poll of the nine local fire chiefs whose fire halls are located within the county, the Stutsman County Commission agreed at its meeting Tuesday to keep the burn ban in effect — for now.
“Five of them think we should still have this in place. Four of them think, ‘well, we can get rid of it,’” said Jerry Bergquist, the county’s emergency manager.
The fire emergency declaration and burn ban proclamation was passed at a March 16 commission meeting.
It goes into effect only when the North Dakota Rangeland Fire Danger Index reaches the “very high” or “extreme” categories, or if the National Weather Service assigns the county a red flag warning, meaning fire conditions are volatile.
Since the commission’s last meeting on April 3 the county’s fire danger has been “very high” four times and “extreme” twice. There were two grass fires in that time period.
The fire chiefs who wanted the ban kept in place were located in the north and west parts of Stutsman County, Bergquist said.
“Well, there’s more grass out there and stuff — and more prairie,” said Commissioner Mark Klose.
Sheriff Chad Kaiser said many people were calling his office asking about the fire danger index to make sure they were obeying the rules.
“I think this is the best burn ban we’ve ever had,” Kaiser said. “It works good.”
To see the current status North Dakota counties on the Fire Danger Index, visit http://www.co.stutsman.nd.us/ and click on “Burn Ban Information” on the bottom left of the page.
The site includes a current map of North Dakota’s burn bans, as well as a link to the full text of the fire emergency declaration and burn ban proclamation.
Exceptions to the ban include propane/gas-, kerosene- or alcohol-burning cooking stoves in residential areas and established residential camping areas and outdoor welding. In both cases, however, a person burning must have ready access to a fire extinguisher.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at email@example.com