Town of Grafton

Refrain from Open Burning and Controlled Burns- Monday 3/30/2020

Good day, 

I have been in contact with the Fire Chief and as a result of the Covid 19 issue they are very short on staff.   Mostly because employers of volunteer and paid on call firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics will not allow them to go on calls and return to their jobs.   While I would hope that these fine corporate citizens would be made public that is probably not going to happen.   What Chief Rice has asked for is that we in the Town refrain from any open burning and controlled burns until we give the all clear.   This is not an attempt to ban open burning but a request to do our part to help emergency services not exhaust staffing.   The fact is that every year a few folks are not as careful as they should be and fires get away.   Small campfires in protected pits and enclosures should not be a problem.   We are talking about the large brush piles and controlled prairie burns that an unexpected wind can turn into an out of control situation.   

Please do your part to help our Fire Chief manage his depleted corps of firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics.   Many wear both hats.   Fires in the Town virtually always trigger shared service calls to other departments who are also in the same situation.   Chief Rice and I appreciate and thank you for your co-operation and understanding.   This is a people issue, not a policy issue.

I know some of you are working on the yard while home.   If you have piles to burn, try to get them done this weekend and be extra careful. 

Starting Monday, until we give the all clear, refrain from burning brush piles, leaves, grass and prairie burns.   We will give the all clear as soon as we can.  Thank you. 

Lester Bartel

Town Chairman