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Weather service, fire district warn against burning Tuesday

Monday, March 5, 2012 | 6:14 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Tuesday will be a lousy and dangerous day to do any open burning, the National Weather Service and the Boone County Fire District warned late Monday.

The weather service was forecasting a sunny day with low humidity and a high temperature of around 75 in Columbia. South winds were expected to reach 30 mph by afternoon with gusts of up to 46 mph.

Those conditions create the potential for rapidly spreading wildfire, the weather service said in its "red flag" warning, which was scheduled to be in effect from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The Boone County Fire Protection District advised residents against any burning over the next few weeks when wind speeds exceed 5 to 10 mph, given the lack of snowfall and extremely dry weeds and grasses. It offered these reminders for those intent on burning:

  • Open burning is allowed in the county but is ill-advised in the forecast weather conditions.
  • City residents must obtain permits before burning and should check local rules.
  • Check weather forecasts before burning, as winds can be sporadic.
  • Winds are generally calmer and humidity is generally higher in the morning.
  • Provide a barrier around fire by mowing or by scraping down to bare dirt.
  • Keep a water source such as a garden hose nearby.
  • Never burn materials near a structure.
  • Burn small areas at a time.
  • Never leave any fire unattended.
  • Place metal screens over barrel fires to keep embers from escaping.
  • Call the Joint Communications Center at 442-6131 before lighting a fire.
  • Dial 911 immediately if your fire grows larger or moves more rapidly than expected.
  • Remember that you will be held liable if your fire damages another person's property.

If you have questions or want more information, call the fire district at 447-5000 during normal hours or 219-0677 on nights and weekends.


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