LYNDON—Commissioners voted in favor of extending the burn ban, or rather burn restriction, at the weekly county commission meeting Monday.
The previous ban, which took effect through Monday, helped control burns moderately, said Bryce Romine, emergency preparedness director for the county.
“We call it a burn ban, but it’s not really a ban,” said Ken Kuykendall, commissioner. “It’s a regulation. You can still burn on certain days and it’s sensible, I think.”
Romine pleaded with commissioners to extend the restriction on burning. While the extension ultimately passed, there was little resistance.
“We did come close to losing a large number of structures in March and some in early April,” said Romine. “We’re trying to educate the public how important it is to follow these days and think about tomorrow.”
“What do you think Carl?” asked Kuykendall.
“It’s fine, but you’re not going to see a lot of burning left,” said Carl Meyer, commissioner.
“I think there’s a lot of confusion, people thinking it’s a complete ban,” said Gaylord Anderson, commissioner. “If we could perhaps call it a burn restriction other than a burn ban.”
“What this is leading to, we’re trying to draft a full-time resolution with some burn regulations,” said Romine. “So we will have the flexibility of saying you can burn all day today or you can’t burn today.”
Romine said that in a normal year, there aren’t too many no burn days, but said this year was an exceptional year.
The burn restriction has been extended through May 27. The resolution states it’s “only in effect when the rangeland fire danger is very high or extreme and/or a Red Flag Warning is issued by the National Weather Service.”
Romine encourages citizens to call the Osage County Sheriff’s office at (785) 828-3121 to check the fire danger levels and report their name and location of the proposed burn.
In other business, commissioners:
• adopted the new emergency operations plan for the county as well as approved Romine’s submission of an application for an Emergency Management Performance Grant. Romine said the county normally receives around $17,000, which is given back to the general fund and helps supplement the wages of the county emergency preparedness director.
• set a road vacation hearing for 10:30 a.m. May 12 for a portion of West 229th St. beginning at the intersection of South Auburn Road, west a distance of 2,240 feet, Barclay Township.
• heard an update from Glen Tyson, road and bridge supervisor. Tyson said he would attend a preconstruction meeting April 29 on phase four bridge construction as part of the bridge bond. Tyson also said construction on state bridge 170, east of Reading, would begin June 16. Kuykendall said that closure may prevent work to start on the Hoch bridge through Melvern until October or winter months.
• held a conference call with Bryan Sanford on an appraisal dispute. County appraiser, Stacy Berry, was also present. Sanford looked to the commission for a recommendation on an appraised property near Pomona Lake. Commissioners informed Sanford they had no authority over the appraiser’s office on the proposed issue.