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Smoke management season begins July 24

Sullivan leaving as coordinator

   The Jefferson County Smoke Management Program is preparing for this year's open field burning season, which runs from July 24 to Sept. 22.
   Farmers began registering for the program July 1. The cost is $5.75 per acre to burn grass seed fields, $2.75 per acre for grain stubble, and $1 per acre to propane flame potato vines, carrot vines and other crops (propane burning is allowed until Oct. 20).
   Growers call the fire department the day they wish to burn, then wait for authorization from Smoke Management Coordinator Kathy Sullivan, who tests weather and wind conditions daily.
   There will be no burning Aug. 25, due to the Madras Air Show, and no burning Friday through Monday of Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1 to 4.
   This year, the smoke management program will implement a plan to phase out grass and grain field burning (over a three-year period) within 1/8th of a mile of Highways 26 and 97 for safety reasons.
   During the three-year phase-out, the program will continue to contract with a certified flagging service for the highway, and flashing warning signs will also be used.
   Sullivan announced that this will be her last season as the smoke management coordinator, since she has accepted a position with the 509-J School District. Applications are now being accepted for the smoke coordinator's position.
   For more information, view the program's Web site jeffcosmoke.com.