Keep Controlled Burns Controlled

Weather forecasts of warmer temperatures and strong winds can also be forecasts for fire danger.

Mission Township Assistant Fire Chief Michael Razo said taking extra precautionary steps can prevent a lot of damage. He said anyone planning a controlled burn should first call their fire department to make sure conditions are favorable and so they'll be standing by in case something should go wrong.

Something else Razo said people need to be aware of is how much land they can handle burning. He says many grass fires get out of control because the people burning "bite off more than they can chew."

Razo said the department relies heavily on its 30 volunteers when it's burn season because of the grass fires that get out of control. "It takes a lot of man power and most of the time it's multiple departments that go out on these bigger grass fires that sometimes can be avoided if they just call in and let us know what's going on," he said.

Mission Township and Shawnee Heights offer prescribed burns, which is another way Razo says you can help ensure your fire won't spread where it shouldn't.

"If somebody's pasture is too big and they need somebody to come out and do it for them, we can do a burn for them," Razo said. "We don't have any set fee. Most of it's done on donation."

Prescribed burns are worth the time and effort if it means preventing an out of control fire.

"It ties up a lot of fire trucks. It ties up medical personnel to run medical calls," Razo said. "I'm not saying it's not important because these grass fires can get structures very easily. But if we can control how we're burning, then we can avoid those kind of structure fires caused by grass fires."

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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