BROOKINGS – The open burning ban in Brookings County has been ended by the county commission.
As expected, the commissioners Tuesday voted to end the ban that had been in effect since Sept. 27 of last year.
The termination was made at the request of Sheriff Marty Stanwick and the Brookings Fire Department.
Addressing the public, Commission Chair Deanna Santema said that county residents still should notify the fire department if they choose to begin a controlled burn.
The policy change was the result of a wet spring and the greening of the countryside. Fire danger in the county has been at a high level since last fall, with an abundance of fine grasses and stubble that can easily be ignited. Periods of low humidity and high winds have also increased the chances of fires starting and burning out of control.
The commission has been considering rescinding the ban for some time, evidenced by the fact that the resolution included the wording: “Whereas the rural fire departments and law enforcement have observed that conditions in Brookings County have improved due to recent snowfall …”
Dry conditions even at the end of the snow season prompted the commission to extend the ban into its eighth month.