County issues burn ban as of March 12

Marion County Emergency Management Director Randy Frank makes his case for a burn ban at the March 12 county commission meeting. Seated behind him is Peabody Fire Chief Mark Penner.The Marion County Commission issued a burn ban effective Monday, March 12, after hearing from Marion County Emergency Management director Randy Frank and Peabody Fire Chief Mark Penner.

The proclamation is effective and in place prohibiting people who are careless with use of cigarette, cigar and other smoldering-type remains; building or maintaining open campfires; burning of all fence rows, pastures; and/or using welding or torch equipment

One of the reasons Penner and Frank visited with the commissioners Monday was to talk about a burn ban after Thursday’s brush fire that went out of control at 100th and Indigo Road.

“We are a small rural fire department,” Penner said, “running a truck with two people on it with 300 gallons of water on it.”

Besides Peabody’s fire department responding to the afternoon call, Harvey County, and Goessel City went out, and the Walton Fire Department came with their equipment, too, Penner said.

It took firefighters more than four hours to put the fire out.

Emergency Management

One of the ways Frank helps firefighters is by thinking for them.

Penner said that a lot of times he is using a drone in the field looking at all aspects of the fire while crews are fighting the blaze.

“It’s a good deal, really, because he is seeing the big picture by using the drone,” he said.

In addition, Frank provides a lot of training information and emails to the departments in case someone is interested.

Fire chiefs favor ban

Eight of the 12 fire chiefs are in favor of the burn ban.

In fact, Penner said the forecast calls for no rain through Tuesday with winds picking up through next week.

Even if it does rain next week, and the burn ban is lifted, that doesn’t mean the grass will be wet, Penner said, people will still need to be careful.


Frank also requested the county issue a Fire Management Assistance Grant, which provides 75 percent federal cost share with the state’s share of 25 percent in the event of disaster.

In other business, the commission:

◼ met with Courtney Boehm, county attorney, to discuss her quarterly report.

◼ went into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss personnel with Susan Robson.

◼ discuss invocation before county meetings.

◼ approved 48 hours back for time that Frank almost lost in October.

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