Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District Chief Matt Bramel issued a temporary burn ban for the entire district on Tuesday.

The temporary burn ban stipulates that absolutely no outside burning is to take place within the fire protection district’s boundaries. Residents will be advised when the temporary burn ban has been lifted.

The open burning restrictions in effect, per ordinance 1.100, require every person, firm or a corporation within the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District to conduct open burning of combustible material or flammable combustion liquid per the rules and regulations of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources discourages the open burning of any material before investigating alternatives. The Air Pollution Control Program within the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Environmental Quality has specific rules and regulations relating to what can be burned in an open environment. Chief Bramel states residents should refer to the division’s regulations prior to burning (10 CSR-3.030).

A penalty fee will be charged to a person, firm or corporation that conducts open burning within the boundaries of the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District, if the burning requires a response or action by the fire protection district or any fire department when a no burning directive has been issued.

The penalty fees in place are:

— For responding to an emergency, the fee is $100.

— For each hour or proportional sum for each quarter-hour spent in providing emergency services, the fee is $500.

— The actual cost of consumable materials and the use of rented equipment needed to provide emergency services, such as foam, oil dry, pads, booms or backhoes.

— Any additional expenses of the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District in providing emergency service and the collecting of these expenses.

A no burning directive is issued when weather or conditions are determined to be hazardous for the open burning of combustible materials or flammable, combustible liquids within the boundaries of the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District. 

The volunteer department provides fire and emergency services to the communities of Doolittle and Jerome as well as roughly 122 square miles and 2,382 residents of central and western Phelps County. The Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District also provides services to over 20,000 acres of Mark Twain National Forest.