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State Fire Marshal Approves Burn Ban

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

A county-wide burning ban went into effect in Mills County at 4 p.m. Monday.

Mills County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Hurst said the ban prohibits all open burning in Mills County, including within the boundaries of all incorporated cities.

“The conditions have been extremely dry over a long period of time,” Hurst said Friday when announcing the ban. “In the past few weeks, our local fire departments in Mills County have been getting called out on numerous grass and land fires.”

Hurst said the burning ban would remain in effect until further notice. Mills County citizens who would like to have an open burn on their property may apply for a permit from their local fire district chief.  The fire chief is authorized to approve or deny all such requests.

If an open permit is approved, Hurst said the appropriate county entities would be notified.

In a press release distributed prior to Monday’s ban becoming effective, Hurst asked for the public’s cooperation.
“This is a dangerous situation and we rely on the public to assist us in this ban,” Hurst said. “The conditions are currently favorable for a fast-moving wild land fire that can destroy property and become life threatening if uncontrolled.”

Small recreational fires are permitted during the ban if contained in a fireplace made of brick, metal or heavy one-inch wire mesh.

Hurst said violators of the ban are subject to a citation or arrest.

Hurst also made the following recommendations to help prevent a land fire in dry conditions:
- Avoid using fireworks or other items that produce flames or sparks.
-  Do not throw out burning cigarettes from vehicles.
- Discontinue the burning of yard waste, piled tree debris and other items during the ban.