A couple of recent fires in the city of Auburn got out of control, despite starting out small, causing one man to become injured and property damaged to occur. City officials urge people to seek out information about burning before lighting a match. It is important to make sure rules are followed when burning especially within the city limits.
Each city has an ordinance pertaining to burning that specifically states what can be burned, where it can be burned and when it can be burned. The county issues burn bans throughout the year and unless you call 726-4911, read the newspaper or listen to the radio, you may not realize that it is against the law to burn during certain times.
The Kentucky forest fire hazard seasons are February 15 through April 30 and October 1 through December 15 of each year; however, due to drought conditions that can occur at any time sometimes burn bans are placed in the county which makes it illegal to start a fire.
During the forest fire seasons, even though the precautions required by KRS 149.375 have been taken, it is unlawful for any person to set a fire or to procure another to set a fire to any flammable material capable of spreading fire located in or within one hundred fifty feet of any woodland or brushland except between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., prevailing local time, or when the ground is covered with snow.
These rules and regulations are in place to protect the forests and property of other as well as people’s lives.
There are general rules that should always be followed when burning.
* Always find out what your city or county’s laws are regarding burning.
* An adult should always be present during open burning and children and pets should be kept at a safe distance.
* Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start a fire because the risk of personal injury is high.
* Burn one small pile at a time and slowly add to it. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control.
* Select a location away from any utility lines.
* While a fire is burning, an adult must attend the fire until it is completely extinguished.
* Have fire extinguishment materials on hand including a water supply, shovels and rakes. The water supply could be a pressurized water fire extinguisher, a pump can or water hose and be sure to test it out before igniting the fire. You do not want to find out that the water is still shut-off at the house or that the hose is cracked when you need it most.
* Be prepared to extinguish your fire if the winds pick up or weather changes. Use common sense and don’t wait for the fire department to contact you that it has become unsafe to burn. Sudden wind change is how most open burning gets out of control.
* If for some reason the fire should get out of control, call the fire department immediately. Use the utmost caution to prevent injury to yourself and family members or any damage by fire to your home.
Remember to call 726-4911 every time you plan to burn to find out if there is a current local burn ban.