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Fire official says Cape Girardeau County's burn restriction issued too late

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jim Roche, board president of the Millersville Fire Protection District, told Cape Girardeau County commissioners Thursday that while he supports the recent burn restriction order issued by the county, he thinks it was issued too late and does not allow for violators to be issued citations or tickets.

Commissioner Paul Koeper said he did not know if an order issued by the commission could be enforced through criminal charges, but he is consulting with Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle for clarification.

County emergency management director Dick Knaup said he did not think citations or tickets could be issued to violators, based on how the order was written.

"There is no teeth, as it is advisory," Knaup said. He did tell Roche civil damages may be pursued, and if someone is found burning and it falls under reckless burning or reckless behavior, then criminal charges may also be sought.

Knaup said the rain from earlier this week led many county residents to presume the order was no longer in effect, but that is not the case. He said the small amount of rain that fell may have dampened the ground, but it was not a soaking rain. Dry underbrush continues to present a fire hazard.

Other action

* Commissioners approved a request to solicit applications for a custodian at the Common Pleas Courthouse.

* Commissioners approved indigent burial for Michele Thompson.



Pertinent Address:

1 Barton Square, Jackson, MO

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Well, was it a request or an order? Something worth doing is worth doing right.

Remember the old saying; If something is not fast and not slow, it is only "half fast"!

-- Posted by mo_ky_fellow on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 12:49 PM

Mr. Roche, being a good old boy in your fire district, does entail making some hard decisions. The recent burn order is enforceable, and should be. What will it take for you and the county commisson to realize this, will lost life, and a large amount of property destroyed convince you? It may only be an infraction, but fines, court costs, and community service will make people think before making a foolish decision. Besides the fact that most of the County Fire Departments are Volunteer, and putting my brothers and sisters in jeopardy, whether paid or volunteer is not something I endorse.

-- Posted by billsheppard52@gmail.com on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 7:08 PM

If there is no law or ordinence on the books, then a burn ban violation is not a criminal offence. You can't just magically declare a law.

-- Posted by mynameismud on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 9:26 PM

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