Linn County burn ban may end - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Linn County burn ban may end


Due to the drought this summer, dry grass and vegetation has created a hazard for fire stations.

"In Cedar Rapids, for example, we've had more grass, brush, and natural vegetation fires than we did in all of 2011," said Greg Buelow, Cedar Rapids Fire Department Public Information Officer.  " We had 46 total in 2011. We're already up to 60 this year in the Cedar Rapids Metro area."

It could have been more if there hadn't been a burn ban.  Linn County has been under a ban since July 6, but that could change Tuesday when the county fire chiefs hold a conference call.

"They're going to look at whether or not the conditions are so dry whether fire spread's going to be likely," said Buelow.

Some areas of Linn County have been allowed to have fires this summer, like Pleasant Creek Recreation Area in Palo.

"We can't have open burning, which is burning of brush piles or anything like that," said Carl Fairley, State Park Ranger.  "We were permitted to allow people to have recreational fires."

While the burn ban is countywide, it's up to individual chiefs to decide where they must be enforced.

Since the Palo chief gave their park permission, troopers have been reminding guests about fire safety.

"We've told people just as an extra precautionary thing not to leave their fires unattended," said Fairley.  "If they're going to be away from their fire, to put it out and not leave it unattended.'

They also ask all their guests to keep water on hand while the fire is burning.


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