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Jefferson City Public Safety Committee to not extend burning season


The Jefferson City Public Safety Committee voted Thursday morning to not extend the burning date for yard waste.

Jefferson City Fire Department Chief Matt Schofield said the department has received many calls from residents with questions and concerns about open burning.

Schofield stated that the biggest challenge the department runs into when it comes to open burning is educating the public on the rules of it.

According to the city's website, burning is restricted to only yard waste, which includes grass clippings and twigs. The fire must be watched at all times, away from the property line, only burning during the daytime and must be completely out by sunset.

The department says they run into issues when residents burn material later in the day rather than earlier due to the temperatures, according to Schofield.

He says daytime temperatures are more ideal for smoke to rise into the atmosphere faster, rather than in the evening because the smoke stays low due to the dip into nighttime temperatures.

Previous calls were due to open burning fires getting either out of control or causing heavy smoke and causing alarm to others unaware of the intentional burning, leading to the high number of calls.

The burning season begins on Nov. 1st and ends at sunset on Mar. 1st.

However, committee members did bring up the fact that not having a yard waste site could lead to more open burning.

The City Council decided to permanently end its Yard Waste services to residents of Jefferson City.

The committee discussed the potential benefits and consequences of re-opening the temporary yard waste drop-off site on Ellis Blvd, however, relocation was also an idea.

A solution proposed by the committee was to modify operations at the site. A suggestion was for it to be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day with crew members coming in to periodically check in on the site and close the gate at night. They also discussed increasing security measures at the site to monitor who comes in and out.

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Gabrielle Teiner


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