There’s been rain, but not enough rain to make county officials comfortable with allowing open burning, unless local fire chiefs believe the conditions are right.
So Barton County will continue under a burning ban for at least another week, the Barton County Commission decided this week.
Commissioners met with Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller on the advisability of not renewing the burn ban, since the county did get rain recently.
However it was noted that not all of the county got all that much rain.
While it is true that some parts of the county got a good deal of rain, there are other areas, specifically around Galatia, where there has been very little, according to Commissioner Kenny Schremmer.
It was also noted that the storms that brought precipitation also brought their own fire hazards.
Miller told the commissioners that Hoisington Fire Department responded to two field fires that were caused by lightning, while Claflin had one also.
Still, she reported, that the fire chiefs from Great Bend, Beaver, Claflin, Ellinwood and Hoisington agreed to drop the burn ban for this week.
She agreed that the area is still stressed. “Even though we have had some rain, we are still in drought condition,” Miller commented.
High winds and high temperatures will do away with any benefits from the recent rains, she added.
Miller said the rainfall amounts around the county varied from as much as five inches to as little as half an inch, which is quite a range.
Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz suggested it would be best to leave the ban on for another week. “I would rather err on the side of caution,” she commented.
The extension of the burn ban was approved with Commissioner John Edmonds opposed.