Poplarville residents need permit for burning

Published 4:38 pm Thursday, July 13, 2006

Beginning Sunday, July 30, anyone conducting an open burn within the city limits of Poplarville without first obtaining a written permit from the Poplarville Fire Department will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $100.

Mayor Billy Spiers and the board of aldermen adopted the ordinance on June 20 as an “emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, safety and welfare….”

Citizens may obtain the free permits by calling the fire department at 601-795-2200. Fire Chief Kris Foster or another member of the Poplarville department will inspect the area to be burned before issuing the permit for that day only. Because wind and weather conditions are factored into the decision-making process, permits are issued on a day-to-day basis.

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Fires must be attended by a competent adult and should normally be extinguished by 6 p.m. In some cases, however, fires may be left burning overnight with special consideration from the department.

Fires are categorized into three classes within the ordinance, but all are limited to ordinary, organic combustible materials such as grass, brush, leaves, trimmings, trees and limbs. Recreational bonfires, brush piles, field fires or land-clearing fires are also allowed. Fires in that category require special consideration by the fire chief and may be exempt from some criteria of the ordinance. The fire department reserves the right to extinguish a fire at any time, however, if it proves a threat to people or property. All applicants agree to assume full responsibility for all damages caused by a fire burning uncontrolled and/or unattended.

West Michigan Street in Poplarville has been reopened to through traffic following the completion of a construction project to install a new box culvert in an area where the street collapsed. That section of the street will be repaved after the area has had time to settle.

The city is about to begin another construction project on Woodard Street that will require the area between Todd and Barber Streets to be closed to traffic. The street project should start within the next few weeks to change culverts where erosion has occurred.

Among other business conducted during the first July meeting, the board:

— Discussed inquiring about leasing an area of property, where the NAPA building formerly stood, as possible parking space for businesses when street work begins on Main Street in the downtown area.

— Discussed the need and a possible building for the city to have its own mini Emergency Operations Center.

— Discussed the requirement for all city personnel working in emergency operations to take online National Incident Management System (NIMS) courses.

— Approved sending firefighters Mickey Sheppard, Brett Carr and Justin Miller to attend a swift water rescue technician class in Picayune this week. Aldermen also approved wastewater operator John Hancock to attend a NIMS and Basic Incident Command System class in Biloxi this week.