Hettinger County signs burn ban

The Hettinger County Auditor and Hettinger County Commission have recently signed an order declaring a burn ban. The declaration was signed on March 15.

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net
When you read the words ‘burn ban,’ assumptions are that burning is completely disallowed. However, according to the Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department, that is not completely true.
The county adheres to the State Fire Index, and that index is broken down into five different categories: Low, Moderate, High, Very High, and Extreme. There is also a Red Flag Warning designation.
When conditions are either Low, or Moderate, burning is actually allowed.
The sheriff’s department said that while burning is allowed, people must follow proper procedure in order to lawfully execute a controlled burn.
An individual must contact State Radio at either 1-800-472-2121 or 701-328-9921 before starting the burn. The following information will be requested from the individual by State Radio:
1.Name.
2.Location of burn.
3.What is being burned—a field, garbage pit, tree piles, etc. (Small fires such as campfires, or burning barrels do not need to be called in.)
4.What time they are planning to burn.
5.How long they expect it will take to burn.
6.A contact number where the individual can be reached.
The individual executing the burn must be on location the entire time the fire is burning.
Finally, when the burn has been completed the individual must contact State Radio and inform them of the completion of the burn, after the fire is totally put out.
The sheriff’s department is then notified by State Radio to notify them of the location. The department then contacts the fire chief of the specific district to make them aware of the burn and where it is located.
This procedure allows State Radio to be aware of the burn in case someone calls in the fire as an emergency at the sight of flames or large amounts of smoke. State Radio will know that the area is under a controlled burn and will not alarm the local fire departments.
The procedure is put in place to ensure that volunteer fire departments are not called out unless there is a real emergency.
The fire index and current conditions can be found at www.ND.gov/des. The county’s burn ban declaration is also located at the site.
Individuals can contact the Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department with any questions regarding bans and procedures.

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