The city of Grand Island has canceled the spring open burn period before it has even started, citing the high fire risk that has been seen over the past few months.
Fire Chief Cory Schmidt stated, "The GrandIsland Fire Department understands many citizens utilize the open burningperiod to dispose of yard waste," said Fire Chief Cory Schmidt, "unfortunately the dry conditions and thehigher than normal number of grass fires which have occurred the last fewmonths have made the spring open burn too dangerous to allow."
Data from the National Weather Service shows that Grand Island received only 1.53 inches of precipitation between Nov. 6, 2013 and March 31, 2014, the driest winter Grand Island has seen in the 119 year history of weather recording.
The dry weather combined with strong winds have kept firefighters busy fighting wildfires across central Nebraska, including in and around Grand Island.
The burn period had been scheduled for April 20 through May 3 while many are getting their yards cleaned up from the winter season. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the free disposal service for tree limbs and branches, grass and leaves offered at the city's Yard Waste Site.
The Yard Waste Siteis located on Monitor Road and boarders the Transfer Station, 5050 W. OldPotash Highway, to the east. It is open to the publicMonday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4p.m.