*This message is from Butler County Emergency Management
So…. burning season is rapidly approaching, and some of you may be planning to conduct a controlled burn (whether a brush pile, ditch or pasture) for the very first time. If you’re wondering how and when to light the match, here are a few things to think about:
Have you called for a permit? Butler County follows a permitting process, which is administered by our three 9-1-1 centers on behalf of the fire districts. Permits are issued only when safe burning conditions exist. Dispatchers and fire chiefs look at things such as forecasted wind speeds and humidity levels to gauge if controlled burns can actually stay “controlled.” The right mix of gusty winds, crispy-dry air and grass, and warm temps can cause fires to grow explosively, putting lives (yours, your neighbors and firefighters) and homes at risk. If your permit request is denied, please understand that this is for everyone’s safety.
Do you have an adequate water supply? If flames start spreading where you don’t want them to go, do you have enough water immediately available to dampen them?
Have you looked at what’s around the pile or space you want to burn? Is there tall grass right by your burn pile? Does that grass extend right up to the side of your house or shed? Are there cedar trees along the ditch you are clearing? When those dry out, they can literally explode into flames.
Look beyond today. A gentle breeze may currently be wafting the smoke away from your house. However, if one of Kansas’ infamous wind-switches happens overnight, that breeze may suddenly become a fierce gale, stoking leftover embers and sending smoke and flames toward your house (or your neighbor’s)…
Some helpful resources: The graphic below is from the NWS’ Fire Weather web page and details the forecasted Grassland Fire Danger Index for the next several days. More fire weather info can be found at: http://www.weather.gov/ict/fire. Additional info on burning rules and regulations, as well as contact info for permits, can be found on the county website: http://www.bucoks.com/index.aspx?NID=203
Master Firefighter Caleb Carson printed out the certificates for Junior Firefighter for Grand View and Lincoln grade schools. Caleb thanked all the children for their extraordinary efforts with the Junior Firefighter program. He joked that the children and their parents probably wondered about all the extra homework.
Each of the children came forward to accept a Junior FF certificate of achievement. Caleb, Captain Yaghijian and Fire Chief Steve Moody shook each of the children’s hand. Retired and long time Junior Firefighter instructor Bill Doan also was also recognized in attendance. Most people know that Bill was the long time instructor of the program.
The students with the highest score on the quizzes – for each class – was given the Junior FF Fire Chief presentation with a wooden plaque. These individuals will be picked up by a fire truck from their school and brought to fire station 1 for a pizza dinner with the firefighters.
People around the world celebrate October 31st in different ways.
We in the United States celebrate the day as “Halloween.” We dress up in costume, have parties, and go door to door collecting candy.
In Mexico the people celebrate the day as “Day of the Dead” (Dia de los Muertos).
Celebrations are fun, but they can also cause you to lose focus – both figuratively and literally. I ask you to think about these questions before and as you celebrate:
– Will you make sure that your mask or costume doesn’t reduce your vision?
– Will you NOT dart across the street with no regard in your pursuit of the next great candy?
– Will you make sure your costume fits right – so you don’t trip and fall?
– Will you stay away from lit flames with your flammable costume?
– Will you have reflective clothing with a flashlight?
– Will you NOT eat candy or other items that might be covered in bacteria?
If it helps, remember my Mexican brother’s celebration – “Day of the Dead”. It might be the category you end up in if you don’t – answer “YES” to all my questions.