Hot, dry forecast leads to concerns for grass fires

Koam Drought Tracker July 14 2022

4-States – A hot, dry forecast leads to concerns of more grass fires across the 4-State area.

>> Grass fire started by hay baler at Wildwood Ranch, 100 acres burn

KOAM is speaking with Carl Junction, Missouri Fire Chief Perkins today about the danger of burning in this weather.

In Benton County, Arkansas, Judge Barry Moehring issued a countywide burn ban. No outdoor, open burning is permitted due to the high wildfire danger and current dry conditions.

While some local officials issue burn bans, others mostly take the approach of educating the public on the proper use of prescribed fire.

In Wilson County, the Emergency Management tells KOAM that a requirement for a prescribed fire is to notify the county dispatch center when you plan to burn and when the fire is out. Under recommendations from Rural Fire, the dispatchers will advise callers if adverse fire conditions exist and if a prescribed fire is not recommended that day.

A burn ban is rarely issued in Wilson County, according to Emergency Manager Terry Lyons. But when it is, it’s in collaboration with Emergency Management and Rural Fire to make a recommendation to the County Commission.

If they do issue one, they post it on social media and dispatch notifies law enforcement agencies.

Some City governments may also have their own process for outdoor, open burning. In Pittsburg, Fire Chief Dennis Reilly says they handle it on a case-by-case basis. When someone calls Fire Station 1 to request a permit, fire officials go out and make sure it meets the criteria and then issue the permit. However, they also use drought conditions and humidity to make the determination on issuing a burn permit.

Several Fire Departments on the Missouri side, like Redings Mill, will post daily whether it’s a safe day to burn or not.  (Missouri Fire Weather and Burn Ban Info)

>>Oklahoma Burn Ban Map

>>Joplin Burn Ban Status

After reaching out to several agencies about burn bans, the best way to make sure it’s safe and legal to burn, is to call the local fire department that serves you.