By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
St. Joseph residents are still able to practice open burning to get rid of yard waste through the end of April.
The St. Joseph Fire Department reminds residents that burning is only allowed between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. All fires must be in an upright container with a volume equal to and not exceeding 55 gallons.
Fires also have to be at least 15 feet away from any structures, need to be monitored at all times and firefighting material needs to be close by.
St. Joseph Fire Inspector Steve Henrichson says open burning can be banned for the day if there are unfavorable weather conditions, such as high winds.
"Like (Friday) with the high winds, the battalion chief, the on-duty chief or the St. Joseph Health Department can cancel it for the day," he said.
Henrichson says anyone who does open burning outside of permitted hours, or burns on a day when it's banned, will get a verbal warning the first time.
"Second time and beyond, they can have a police officer come over and issue a summons for court," he said. "Then, it's up to the judge how much he wants to fine you. It can be up to $250."
Northwest Missouri and eastern Kansas has experienced some dry and windy conditions the last several days. This has prompted a number of Red Flag Warnings and Special Weather Statements from the National Weather Service.
Henrichson says recent rains have dampened the outdoor fire danger some, but they'll still get called out from time-to-time.
"The rains we had in the last couple of weeks has really gotten the ground a lot more damp than it was," Henrichson said. "About a month ago, we had quite a few days where we spent half the day chasing a couple (grass fires), but the last couple weeks, it hasn't been too bad. We've had small ones."
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