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Agricultural burn restriction bill creates friction PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marianne Goodland   

A bill to place restrictions on agricultural burns created friction last week between two members of the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee.

Last summer’s interim Wildfire Matters Review Committee drafted House Bill 14-1007 to put more control over agricultural burns and fireworks into the hands of local governments.

The bill allows county governments to restrict burns by ag producers on their own land during times of high fire danger or high wind warnings. It also allows county governments to ban fireworks during the entire summer season.

The 10-member wildfire committee is made up of six Democrats and four Republicans. Nine out of the 10 members voted to support HB 1007. In the Senate, it will be carried by Sen. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa), who was not a member of that committee.

Bill sponsor Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Frisco) told the House Local Government Committee earlier this month that she convened a stakeholder meeting with the agriculture community, fireworks industry, law enforcement and fire chiefs to resolve some of the concerns about the bill.

HB 1007 was amended in committee to require county governments to make it clear in their ordinance who agricultural burners can contact for information, and that no other exception would exist to infringe on agricultural producers’ ability to conduct burning on their property.

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Holyoke Enterprise February 20, 2014