Kiowa County Fire Chief Jay Koehn announced on Monday morning that Kiowa County has now joined a growing list of Kansas counties that have issued a burn ban.
Residents are prohibited from any agricultural or trash burning until further notice.
"Anything the isn't related to cooking meals is prohibited," Koehn said. "It's just too dry and [fires] are so easy to start and so easy to get out of control."
On March 2, 2009 county commissioners passed Resolution 2009-13, which regulates countywide burn bans.
The resolution prohibits the following:
n Careless use of smoking materials
n The open burning of any wastes, structures, vegetation or any other materials.
n Building, maintaining, attending or using any open fire or camp fire except in permanent stoves or fireplace.
Violation of the resolution can bring minimum fines of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 or more for repeated offences.
The resolution allows for exceptions, noting that burning that is "necessary for crop survival" or "in the public interest" is allowed, but must first pass an application process.
Offenders will also be required to reimburse all county expenses for extinguishing the fire.
Koehn said that the institution of the burn ban was unrelated to the grass fire that burned 420-acre of grassland on the Westside of the county last Wednesday.
Amidst rising temperatures and low rainfall more than 40 Kansas counties have instituted burn bans including Anderson, Atchison, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Decatur, Edwards, Ellsworth, Ford, Franklin, Gove, Graham, Grant, Greenwood, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Johnson (also includes the cities Gardner, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Olathe, Overland Park and Shawnee), Labette, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Meade, Miami (Spring Hill only), Mitchell, Morton, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Rawlins, Rush, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas and Trego counties.
"It will take 2-3 inches of significant rainfall and cooler temperatures to lift the ban," said Koehn.