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Burn ban continues
Drought conditions bring changes to water regs
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It may have missed our attention, but this region continues to be stuck in the grip of dangerously high temperatures and no appreciable precipitation.
Conditions are just about textbook for fire disasters, and that is why the Barton County Commissioners approved a new resolution establishing a burn ban for the county, Monday.
Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller told the commissioners that she was hoping she would not be to return the issue this week, but that did not work out. “I was hoping, after last week when we actually saw clouds, that I wouldn’t be here this morning, but that didn’t pan out.”
Great Bend Fire Chief Mike noted that agricultural burning can still be carried out, but only with the specific permission of the area fire chief.
Miller reported that other open fires are not permitted. She noted that on Monday “the Barton County Commission signed a resolution extending a state of local disaster emergency. This proclamation states that due to extremely dry weather conditions an extreme fire hazard exists in Barton County. As a result of the drought and fire conditions open campfires and fires are prohibited. Agricultural burning may be conducted upon issuance of a written permit by the Fire Chief having jurisdiction of the area where the burning is to take place. The fire chief may or may not issue a burning permit.”
The ban extends to next Monday’s commission meeting, and if the weather continues as hot and dry as the forecasts are suggesting, the issue will have to be addressed again.
Claflin Fire Chief Doug Hubbard, also speaking as the communications director, noted that the conditions are certainly county wide and that he was also supporting the ban.
State officials are starting to take action in connection with the severe weather conditions, the Associated Press reported Monday.
“The drought is getting so bad in parts of Kansas that farmers are weighing whether to borrow from next year’s water allocation to quench this year’s crops.
“The state’s Division of Water Resources has offered water rights holders in selected counties a pair of options for adjusting the way they use their five-year allocations. The program is a condition of a drought declaration for dozens of Kansas counties that have been long suffering under drought conditions,” the AP reported.
“The offer is for water rights holders to pump more water from aquifers this summer in effort to save crops and keep livestock going. The amount of water used this year will be deducted from the amount users could pump in 2012.”