Shelby Co. EMA to begin monitoring local fire danger this week

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says his agency will begin monitoring the local fire danger potential, beginning this week. Twice weekly updates will be provided by the EMA staff in Shelby County, with data supplied by the National Weather Service forecast products, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), and close monitoring of local conditions. The updates will be provided to help residents in Shelby County to determine if it is safe to conduct outdoor burning.

Seivert says Shelby County sees an increase in fire activity every year in the spring and fall when residents start igniting burn piles, or prescribed fires on CRP land to meet land management objectives. Often time’s fires are ignited on days when weather conditions are less than favorable. When the burns are started they can cause escape fires which put lives, environment, and property in danger.

The Shelby County Emergency Services Association, in coordination with local Fire Chiefs are asking you to call the Shelby County Emergency Management Office at 712-755-2124 to report your controlled burning projects. When you call in you will simply be asked the size of your project, a number you can be reached at, start and stop times of the planned burn. The Shelby County Emergency Management Office will also ask that you provide the local fire chief with notification.

An electronic copy of the Fire Danger Rating Board can be found at www.shelbycountyema.com. The purpose of this system is to visually let the public know when the conditions are safest to carry out your burning projects. This system is not a permitting process, or authorization to burn, it just lets you know if conditions are favorable.

Shelby Counties cooperative system will allow the authorities to dispatch Emergency Resources immediately on report of smoke when the fire danger is determined to be HIGH or EXTREME. On HIGH days fire resources will be dispatched and make a decision on whether it is safe to continue the burning. If the Fire Chief or his designee think conditions are not safe they may extinguish the fire.

On EXTREME days all fires will be extinguished unless a permit or waiver has been signed by the Chief of the local fire department.