(Riley County, KS - April 24, 2023) Riley County Fire District #1 (RCFD#1) responded to several out-of-control fires over the weekend. Greener vegetation and recent rains helped make it possible for firefighters to extinguish the blazes quickly and prevent damage to structures, despite gusty winds.
One utility task vehicle (UTV) was destroyed in a seven-acre burn north of Manhattan, and another, unpermitted burn resulted in a citation for the property owner. RCFD#1 also responded to a mutual aid call from Wabaunsee County, assisting briefly with a fire that spread to corn stubble. The fire in Wabaunsee County was also quickly extinguished.
“The primary reason fires get out of control is that individuals do not have the necessary experience, manpower, or equipment on hand to properly control their fire,” said Fire Chief Russel Stukey. “RCPD issued one citation to a property owner this weekend for violation of the Riley County Burn Resolution.”
Riley County regulations require a valid burn permit and notification to Riley County Police Department before outdoor burning begins. Burning may only be conducted when weather conditions allow. Permit holders are also required to have adequate equipment and manpower to conduct the burn safely.
“If you plan a controlled burn, part of the preparation process is to look at the weather forecast several days out,” said Stukey. “If you do not have a lot of experience with controlled burning, find experienced people to help you plan your burn and ensure that you have adequate resources on hand such as water tanks, pumps, and vehicles to transport the equipment. Once equipped properly, permit holders must call the Burn Line at 785-565-6216 prior to lighting a fire.”
For more information about burn permits or to apply to serve as a volunteer with Riley County Fire District #1, visit www.rileycountyks.gov/fire or call 785-537-6333 during business hours.
Sign up for emergency notifications, including burn condition notices, at www.rileycountyks.gov/alerts