Ozark County officials given power to issue burn bans

Ozark County officials now have the power to issue burn bans. During last Monday's commission meeting, the Ozark County Commissioners reviewed and passed an ordinance allowing officials to declare a burn ban if conditions are dangerous.

Presiding Commissioner John Turner told the Ozark County Times this was the first time the county had a burn ban ordinance. Commissioners may now order a county-wide burn ban for up to 180 days at one time, and they may dissolve the burn ban at anytime if they determine the public's health and safety are no longer threatened by outdoor burning.

If drought conditions are severe, the county-wide burn ban may prohibit the explosion or ignition of fireworks labeled as "skyrocket" or "missile" in the 2012 edition of the American Fireworks Standard Laboratory. The ban would not include other fireworks.

Once a burn ban is announced, the Ozark County clerk will provide copies of the order to the Ozark County Sheriff's Department, the Ozark County Health Department, the Ozark County Times and area fire districts. Anyone knowingly violating a burn ban can be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500 for a first offense.

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