116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The city has rescinded the burn ban that took effect Aug. 17, a week after the derecho downed hundreds of trees across Cedar Rapids.
The derecho's hurricane-force winds damaged property and resulted in the loss of about 70 percent of the city's tree canopy, leaving behind debris that crews continue to clean up more than six months after the storm.
According to a news release, the burn ban was in effect because of the potential for a spark from a recreational fire to endanger others with the piles of tree debris and the many homes that had plastic tarps over their roofs while waiting to make home repairs.
Tree debris pickup is ongoing, but now that crews have picked up more than 3.4 million cubic yards of tree debris, the fire risk 'has decreased significantly,” according to the release. Only recreational fires are allowed within city limits and citizens need a permit for all other types of burns.
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department has tips on safely burning recreational fires:
' Recreational fires should not come within 25 feet of a structure like a house or garage, or near combustible materials. The distance can be reduced to at least 15 feet if the unit is completely protected with a lid and screen. The total fuel area cannot exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet for fuel height.
' Someone must stay with the fire constantly while it burns and supervise it until the fire is extinguished. This attendant should have buckets, shovels, garden hoses, or a fire extinguisher readily available for use.
' Never burn contaminated or treated wood. These materials produce poisonous gases because they contain derivatives of arsenic or cyanide.
' These items cannot be burned inside city limits: brush piles, contaminated wood, dead animals, garbage, grass, leaves, rubber products, paint, plastic, tar, tires and used oil
' Children should not be allowed to play near a fire. Respect your neighbors by not allowing smoke to blow toward their home or laundry.
' Recreational fires are not safe when winds exceed 15 mph
' Dispose of yard waste properly in a Yardy cart
' Firefighters can require extinguishment if the Fire Department determines that a hazardous condition exists
' Recreational fires would be prohibited under a burn ban issued throughout Linn County
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