The Shelby County Emergency Services Association, which is comprised of all Fire, Ambulance, Emergency Management and Law Enforcement services in Shelby County, is reminding land owners and managers about the upcoming Spring Field Fire Season. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob 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 times he says, fires are ignited on days when weather conditions are less than favorable. When those burns are started they can cause escape fires which put lives, environment, and property in danger. Seivert says 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. A burn plan can be used to assess the safety of all burns. The EMA office, can assist in completing these, and will have the form posted on their web site. wwwshelbycountyema.com
Fire Danger Rating Boards located in all communities will be updated twice a week. Most of them are located at your community fire station. If you are unsure where the Fire Danger Rating sign is located, contact one of the members of your local fire department, they will be happy to let you know where it is.
An electronic copy of the Fire Danger Rating Board will be available at www.shelbycountyema.com. The purpose of the system is to visually let the public know when the conditions are safest to carry out your burning projects. The system is not a permitting process or authorization to burn it just lets you know if conditions are favorable.
Shelby County’s 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.