Board enacts emergency burn ban

Published 8:05 am Friday, December 24, 2021

The Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, at its monthly meeting on Dec. 13, adopted an emergency ordinance prohibiting/regulating open air burning on public and private property in the county.

According to Buckingham County Administrator Karl Carter the board adopted a burn ban ordinance on an emergency basis. In response to an email inquiry from The Herald Carter had this to say about the ordinance, “This emergency adoption will last for 90 days and it gives the County Administrator the authority, after consulting with the proper agencies, to declare that open burning is prohibited in parts or all of the County.”

Carter also noted that as the emergency ordinance only lasts for 90 days, the board also voted to have a public hearing on the ordinance in January to make the ordinance permanent.

“With this ordinance, it gives us time to declare such a ban in a timely fashion without having to wait a month for the Board meetings,” Carter said.

The full emergency ordinance reads as follows:

DECLARATION OF LOCAL EMERGENCY

County of Buckingham, Virginia

WHEREAS, as County Administrator of the County of Buckingham, Virginia, I do hereby find:

1. The County of Buckingham has received significantly less than normal precipitation over the past 60 days ending December 14th, 2021; and

2. Abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions exist across Buckingham County; and

3. The potential for significant wildland fires is above normal in Buckingham County; and

4. The National Weather Service has moderate to high confidence that precipitation amounts will be at or below normal over the next two weeks; and

5. Due to the forecasted continued dry conditions, the County of Buckingham could experience elevated public safety risks for citizens and first responders; and

6. The severely dry weather conditions have the potential to impact life safety, cause peril to property and create significant widespread fire hazard conditions, which necessitates the proclamation of the existence of a local emergency; and

7. Under the authority of the Buckingham County Ordinance Regulating or Prohibiting the Making of Fires, I do hereby declare drought condition exists and that forest lands, brush lands and fields have become so dry or parched so as to create an extraordinary fire hazard.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY PROCLAIMED that effective the date and time below, that open burning is prohibited in all of the county and it shall be unlawful for any person to burn brush, grass, leaves, trash, debris or any other flammable material or to ignite or maintain any open fire within the county, except as provided in the ordinance; and

This Declaration shall remain in effect until modified or rescinded.

IT IS FURTHER PROCLAIMED AND ORDERED that during the existence of said emergency, the powers, functions, and duties of the Emergency Management Organization of the County of Buckingham, Virginia, shall be those prescribed by State Law and the Ordinances, Resolutions, and approved plans of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors in order to mitigate the effects of said emergency.