Emergency Manager requested burn ban to be placed in Turner County

Dawn Rye | Writer
During last week’s Turner County commissioners meeting, a motion was made to place a temporary burn ban in the county.
Turner County Emergency Management Director Brad Georgeson explained the current burn ban enacts when a very high or red flag warning is issued by the NWS.
Chairman Lyle Van Hove asked does it strengthen the county’s case to have a burn ban?
State’s Attorney Katelynn Hoffman said it is beneficial for the county. She noted Georgeson could place the burn ban on whenever he wants. Hoffman explained based on the resolution, it doesn’t have to be published.
Georgeson asked to manually enact it this time instead of waiting for the National Weather Service’s extreme red flag warning to be issued.
Hoffman explained in a previous meeting that the resolution only applies when the National Weather Service places the county in a red flag warning and last week, it was only in orange.
Van Hove noted as dry as it is, the county needs it all the time, not just with a red flag warning.
Commissioner Mick Miller said he remembers the county had issues implementing the burn ban resolution in the past.
Georgeson commented that he could appreciate and understand farm equipment during this time of year and they may unintentionally cause fires. He explained, for example, Davis fire department was recently called out for a controlled burn that was not called in.
Hoffman said the resolution statute states the county could enact the ordinances as long as it was placed on the agenda. She explained there are exceptions when the board talks about that it won’t take effect the 20th day after it’s published. The state codified law supports actions necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety.
She commented when the county is talking about a burn ban, it would fall under that statute. Hoffman said this resolution is already enacted, all Georgeson has to do is notify the public.
Georgeson asked what about the verbiage in the third paragraph where it states very high as well as red flag warning? Hoffman said she would meet with Georgeson to review and clarify the paragraph in the ordinance.
He explained the resolution mirrors Yankton County’s resolution when it comes to the burn ban.
Van Hove questioned since the resolution was drafted in 2015 what does the county need to do?
Auditor Shelia Hagemann said if the county wants a burn ban enacted other than on red flag warnings, then something different needs to be done.

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