Codington & Yankton counties both issueing burn bans

WATERTOWN, & YANKTON, S.D.(AlphaMedia & WNAX)–Codington & Yankton County Commissioners put in place a ban on all open burning today.

The ban in Codington County is in effect for one week, and will be reevaluated next Tuesday.

The region has been extremely dry this spring, and grass fires and wildfires have been reported in all corners of South Dakota over the past week.

Codington County Emergency Manager Jamie Torstenson says this burn ban includes ALL open burning, even in a burn barrel that has a screen over it. He says the risk is just too great.

Last night, Watertown Fire Rescue was called out to help the South Shore Fire Department put out a large grass fire.

It was started by someone doing a controlled burn, but the flames were whipped by high winds and it got out of control.

Fortunately, no buildings or livestock were lost.

The Yankton County Commission approved an emergency burn ban at their meeting Monday night.

County Emergency Services Manager Paul Scherschligt says he was relaying the request from area fire chiefs.

Scherschligt says the ban could be lifted sooner if conditions change.

Commissioners questioned the ban on trash burning by rural residents.  Scherschligt says that was the source of several fires over the weekend.

The commission passed the ban unanimously.