Some recent illegal burnings have sparked some dialogue from the state’s enforcement agency.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Environmental Specialist Aaron Bleibaum paid a visit to the Richmond Fire Department Wednesday night to discuss the issue.
Bleibaum said the way he reads the regulations, Ray County falls underneath the Kansas City Metro Area regulations, which require a permit to burn, although Bleibaum said he would be seeking clarification on the issue.
The problem locally for the Richmond Fire Department is the fact that they have to cover roughly 165 square miles for fire suppression but only have enforcement within the city limits.
Bleibaum said he would be more comfortable with everyone using a permit.
“It doesn’t cost anything, it just let’s us know what’s going on out there,” he said.
According to state regulations, land zoned agriculture can burn vegetation grown on the property and trash. However, Bleibaum said trash does not include furniture, tires or construction waste.
Bleibaum told the department that they could deny any permit they want to. He said if the department knows of illegal burnings an incident report can be used to file a complaint.
“If you know this person is wanting to burn something they’re not supposed to, don’t give them a permit,” he said. “If they burn anyway, let us know. We can fine them up to $10,000 and I don’t think they want to do that.”
Bleibaum said in most cases a permit to burn can be approved the same day or within 24 hours.
Ray County Presiding Commissioner Jeff Adams said he would meet with Richmond Fire Chief Lonnie Quick and Bleibaum to discuss the issue. However, Adams said in his opinion he is not in favor of more government regulations. Eastern Commissioner Allen Dale said he thinks the county will have a hard time getting county residents on board.