Johnson County issues open burning ban for rural area

A burning ban for unincorporated Johnson County was issued Monday, July 2, by the Johnson County Board of Commissioners after consultation with the county fire inspector and rural fire district chiefs.

The burning ban comes on the eve of local Fourth of July celebrations.  The use, sale, and possession of fireworks are illegal in almost all cities and in rural areas of Johnson County.

Deputies of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office will be patrolling all unincorporated areas of the county over the holiday period and persons caught illegally using or selling fireworks will be subject to fines from $25 to $100.

On Monday, Ed Eilert, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, announced that dry weather, high winds, and wilting temperatures have combined to produce conditions that make open burning in the unincorporated area of Johnson County a threat to public health and safety. The ban becomes effectively immediately. Until further notice:

  • Property owners must prohibit burning on their land, except in a contained space with a spark-arresting device;
  • All previously issued burning permits for the unincorporated area are suspended; and
  • No new burning permits will be issued.

Violations of the ban can be punished by a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to thirty (30) days.

Johnson County issued two countywide burning bans in the unincorporated area in 2011 from August 4-12 and October 27 to November 7. Prior to that, bans were imposed in 2002 and 1999.

As of Monday, the cities of Olathe, Overland Park, Leawood, Merriam, Lenexa, Gardner, and Shawnee have imposed burning bans within their city limits. The bans do not restrict the use of barbecue grills, but caution is strongly encouraged when cooking outdoors.

Also on Monday, the city of Spring Hill announced  a burning ban, effective at 5 p.m.

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