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Controlled Burn Policy

April 22, 2011

As promised, here is the step we are taking to curtail our fire response to out of control controlled burns. I must stress that we are not criticizing those who we ask to pay for fire response. We’re simply asking for reimbursement because we believe better means of precaution could’ve been taken. Our hope is that those who have extremely difficult acreage to burn take the precautionary step of asking for us to send trucks for standby.


– Purpose
– Scope
– Responsibility

To establish a method whereby dispatchers can give and gather information to ensure that controlled burns are conducted properly. And, when burns are not done safely, that we gather documentation to support billing the controlled burn party.

Controlled burns are necessary in rural areas such as Stafford County, but those conducting a controlled burn have the responsibility to confine the burn to the “intended to be burned” property. To conduct a controlled burn the wind speeds must be below 15 mph without, frequent gusts above that limit, as gauged by the weather station at 636 E. 4th St. John, Kansas. The short-term weather forecast must also be within the above mentioned wind speed.

Dispatcher –
The following information will be given and questions asked:
 I need to ask you a few questions and gather some information. I also need to inform you that this conversation is being taped.
 Have you established a disc line, or acceptable mow line, around the burn site?
 Do you have a minimum of 100 – preferably 500 gallons- of mobile water available?
 You are required to stay on site during the burn.
 You are required to start the burn within the next hour.
 You are required to secure the perimeter before leaving the burn – 50’ for grass, 100’ for downed timber, and 300’ for standing timber.
 If the fire department has to respond to your fire, you can be billed for the cost of that response.
 You need to call in when your burn is complete
 You are required to fulfill all of the burn regulations under KSA – 28-19-45
 In the future, if you schedule your controlled burn in advance the fire department can provide a stand-by at a minimal cost.
 Do you have any questions?

Incident Commander –
 The IC will conduct an investigation once a controlled burn that’s gotten out of control is extinguished. All the information that was gathered by the dispatcher will be reviewed.
 The IC will take pictures and make a written diagram of the site, noting any specific points of interest.
 A report will be submitted to the Director or Assistant Director.
 If the area that is out of control is extinguished and the controlled burner wants the fire department to stay on scene while the burn completes, they will be advised that this time will be charged to them at $50/truck/hour (minimum of one hour).

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