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Better, but not good
Local fire hazard could return without rain
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There’s been enough rain locally to slow down the danger of range fire, but only temporarily.
Local officials allowed last week’s burning ban to expire Monday, however it was noted that if we don’t receive more moisture and if the heat and high winds return, it won’t take long before conditions are just as dangerous as they were a week ago.
Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller reported Monday that at Monday’s meeting, “the Barton County Commission did not extend a state of local disaster emergency for burning. 
“Due to recent rainfall, Barton County fire chiefs did not recommend an extension of the burn ban. Effective at 12:01 p.m. on Monday, individuals should follow the established burning policy in the county. 
“Specific questions concerning burning should be directed to the fire chief having jurisdiction of the area where the burning is to take place.”
Explaining the county regulations involving open burning, Miller explained, “individuals wanting to burn must contact the fire chief who has jurisdiction of the area where the burning is to take place. 
“The fire chief may or may not issue a burning permit due to weather conditions, (such as) high winds.”
Last week, Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano said one of the concerns this season has been that the high winds could easily get a rural fire burning and move it out of brush or agriculture areas and to houses or other rural buildings.
As a long-term answer, he added, it’s a good idea to plan for brush-free areas around rural homes and out buildings and to create green spaces that can serve as fire breaks.