BY MELANIE WADE –
The burn ban in effect for Polk County has been lifted by Judge Brandon Ellison, as of 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 19, 2017. Polk County has been part of the state’s 66 of 75 counties that have been placed under burn bans for several weeks following a long drought period that began in September, when there was no recorded rainfall for the area.
October only saw two-tenths of an inch of rainfall in Mena, with November receiving less than two-tenths. December’s first three weeks so little to no rainfall in the county, however, over the last weekend and leading into this week, forecasted predictions proved true and much needed precipitation fell upon the area.
Although the burn ban was placed in effect in Polk County on November 27, there were several citizens attempt to perform controlled burns, but after getting out of hand, fire fighters responded to stop the blaze. In some instances, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies have had to respond to control the situation, and as the enforces of a burn ban, have the right to issue citations for the offense. Sheriff Scott Sawyer said, “We usually give people a chance to put the fire out. Most of the calls we respond to about fires during the burn band are people burning trash or brush piles that were not aware that there was a burn ban.”
Judge Ellison is hopeful that this week’s forecast will continue to see the ban lifted, however, if you have questions you are urged to contact the Judge’s office at 479-394-8123 or your local fire department.