SALINE COUNTY -- The Saline County Sheriff's Office is advising caution for those burning, and asks for notification to prevent unnecessary dispatch of a fire truck.
The sheriff's office asks county residents to notify Saline County Central Dispatch if any type of burning will be done. Central Dispatch may be reached by calling (618) 252-8661.
If, for example, a farmer is burning a field, Central Dispatch will know that the fire is intentional and under supervision if passers-by call to report a large volume of smoke.
Otherwise, Central Dispatch is obligated to contact the nearest fire department so that a fire truck will be dispatched to the location.
That can result in the landowner or the person responsible for the fire receiving a bill for the dispatch of the fire truck.
Inside most city limits, that bill is $500, but in rural locations in Saline County, it can be $2,000.
In addition, caution with outdoor fires is also urged as the region continues to dry after a long, cool, wet spring.
On May 8, Shawnee National Forest wildland firefighters were dispatched to help fight an out-of-control wildfire in Alexander County. Firefighters were sent to assist the East Cape and Wolf Lake fire protection districts after a fire on state-owned land appeared to be at risk of spreading to private and national forest properties near Reiman Road, west of Illinois 3 in Alexander County.