While other counties in southwest Iowa have elected to issue a ban on open burning, Cass County will not being doing so at this time. The was the consensus of the fire chiefs who attended the Cass County Fireman’s Association meeting Thursday night, in Marne. Cass County Emergency Management Director Mike Kennon says a ban on open outdoor burning won’t be necessary if people use common sense. He says for the most parts area residents have acted responsibly, and if they continue to act responsibly, the County will refrain from issuing a burn ban.
Acting responsibly means planning ahead before you conduct any outdoor burning. Kennon says residents should check the weather forecast to make sure the winds won’t be strong, call your local fire chief to confirm the time and place of the intended burn. You also need to call the Cass County Communications Center at 243-2204 well ahead of time, so they know not to send out fire crews and equipment when they receive calls from the public fearing a fire is out of control.
Even though there is no burn ban currently in effect in Cass County, Kennon and the area Fire Chiefs are urging residents not to burn for the next couple of days because conditions are expected to be dry and windy. Once a fire is lit, according to Kennon, it needs to be attended to and monitored even when you think it has been extinguished.
He said some of the larger brush piles can burn for days, so to can’t just walk away. They need to be monitored closely.
Today Sunny, with a high near 56. Windy, with a south southeast wind 7 to 12 mph becoming northwest 18 to 23 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 32 mph.
Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. Blustery, with a north wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
Saturday Partly sunny, with a high near 37. North wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Saturday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. North northeast wind 9 to 13 mph.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 36. North wind 7 to 11 mph.
Sunday Night A 30 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24.
Monday A 50 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 36.
Shelby County Emergency Management officials have lowered the county’s fire danger rating from High to “Moderate.” EMA Coordinator Bob Seivert says cooler temperatures, recent and expected moisture will provide a small window for this weekend.
If you have a pile of brush or waste to burn, please call the EMA at 755-2124 and contact your local Fire Chief, so that we are aware of the location and nature of the controlled burn. Please be aware that your city ordinances regarding burn times, and open burning, are all in effect.
3:59 AM CDT THU MAR 20 2014
EARLY THIS MORNING…MOSTLY CLEAR. SOUTHWEST WIND NEAR 5 MPH.
TODAY…SUNNY…WARMER. HIGH IN THE LOWER 60S. SOUTHEAST WIND NEAR 5 MPH INCREASING TO SOUTH 10 TO 15 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE UPPER 30S. SOUTH WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
FRIDAY…SUNNY…BREEZY. HIGH IN THE MID 50S. NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH INCREASING TO 15 TO 25 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH.
FRIDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. BREEZY…COLDER. LOW IN THE UPPER 20S. NORTHWEST WIND 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 35 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SATURDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. COLDER. HIGH IN THE UPPER 30S. NORTH WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
SATURDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOW AROUND 20.
SUNDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 30S.
Next week, March 24th through the 28th, is Severe Weather Awareness Week. Cass County Emergency Management Director Mike Kennon says a Statewide Tornado Drill will take place on or about 10:15-a.m., with the warning sirens being activated throughout the County, and weather radios sounding their alerts. Kennon says the tornado drill will be an excellent opportunity for Cass County residents, businesses and schools to practice their own procedures in the event of severe weather.
In the event of severe weather or potential severe weather on the day of the test, these test watches may be postponed. More information about Severe Weather Awareness Week and the related Tornado Drill will be released in the coming days.
Another form of severe weather is extremely dry and windy conditions that can cause controlled burns to quickly spread and become out of control, placing lives and property in danger. As we’ve mentioned before, numerous Counties this week instituted a ban on open burning, including Fremont, Page, Pottawattamie, Mills and Montgomery Counties. Shelby County began their bi-weekly updates on the Fire Danger in that county, on Monday, with the risk currently being “High” for fires to spread.
Kennon says there is no ban on open, outdoor burning in Cass County, but that may change. He says the matter will be discussed during a County Fire Association meeting Thursday night. Local fire chiefs can elect to place a burn ban in effect for their specific district, if they wish, but in general, a consensus is obtained from all the chiefs to call for a County-wide Burn Ban, which is more formal and encompassing. Anyone thinking about conducting a controlled burn in the mean time, needs to do two things, according to Kennon…
He says you need to call your local fire chief and get their permission, and if that’s granted, call the Cass County Communications Center to inform them about when and where you plan to burn, so fire department personnel and equipment needlessly respond to what may be perceived by others to be an uncontrolled burn. For a current list of counties with a burn ban in-place or those that will be in effect, go to http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/main/burnbans/
EARLY THIS MORNING…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF SNOW. BREEZY. NORTHWEST WIND 15 TO 25 MPH.
TODAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 40S. NORTHWEST WIND 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 35 MPH.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW AROUND 30. WEST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH THROUGH MIDNIGHT.
THURSDAY…SUNNY…WARMER. HIGH IN THE LOWER 60S. SOUTHWEST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.
THURSDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE MID 30S. SOUTH WIND NEAR 10 MPH.
FRIDAY...MOSTLY SUNNY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE MID 50S. NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH INCREASING TO 15 TO 25 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.
FRIDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW IN THE UPPER 20S.
SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. COLDER. HIGH AROUND 40. LOW 21 TO 28.
SUNDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 30S.
Two more counties are being be added to the list of counties in the KJAN listening area which have called for a ban on open burning. A Burn Ban went into effect at 10-a.m. Tuesday, for Fremont County. Later that same day, emergency management officials in Page, Pottawattamie and Montgomery Counties announced Burn Bans would be in effect in those counties beginning at 8-a.m. today (Wednesday). The bans will remain in effect until further notice.
The current dry conditions throughout the region have caused an increase in fire responses throughout eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. As dry conditions persist, dead and drying vegetation is the perfect fuel to spread fires rapidly. Pottawattamie County EMA Director Doug Reed says Pott. County “Has seen the devastating effects of fire in extreme conditions and we want to do everything we can to help mitigate an incident like that from occurring.”
During these dry conditions, citizens are reminded to not throw out cigarettes from moving vehicles and to discontinue burning yard waste, piled tree debris or other items during the ban. Small recreational camp fires are permitted only if they are conducted in a fire place of brick, metal or heavy one-inch wire mesh. Any camp fire not in an outdoor fire place is prohibited.
Violation of a burn ban can subject a person to citation or arrest for reckless use of fire or disobeying a burn ban.