By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Burn permits in Franklin County have been canceled due to extremely dry and tinder-like conditions.
The permits were issued by the Franklin County Fire District through Fire Marshal Scott Martin and Chief Mike Lower.
Martin told The Preston Citizen on Monday he and other fire officials have decided not to issue any new permits because of the on-going lack of rainfall and high danger of fire.
“No open burning in the county is allowed without a permit, which is required by law, and all the permits have been canceled. This will remain in effect until further notice,” he said.
“Until the few showers that fell on Thursday, the area has not had any measurable rainfall for over 30 days. This serious situation has been compounded by scant snowfall last winter. We are just extremely dry and there is a lot of fuel that can quickly burn.”
Martin said the grain harvest is also about ready to start across the county. He cautions farmers and anyone helping with the harvest this year to take measures to help prevent field fires.
Martin said farmers need to have the following items with them during the harvest period:
• have fire suppression materials on hand including a water supply, shovels and rakes.
• if possible, have a tractor with a disc in the field that is being harvested to establish a fire line if grain ignites.
• be prepared to extinguish any fires.
Martin said international fire codes are enforced in Franklin County and prohibit open burning when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make fires unsafe.
Martin can be contacted by calling 852- 3111. His office is in the fire station, 55 W. 100 S., Preston. Lower can be reached by calling 852- 1386.
This story is sponsored by LaMonts Automotive.
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