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Knaup said the rain from earlier this week led many county residents to presume the order was no longer in effect, but that is not the case.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.
* Commissioners approved a request to solicit applications for a custodian at the Common Pleas Courthouse.
* Commissioners approved indigent burial for Michele Thompson.
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