Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: City burn permits

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Dear Editor,

As a resident of Marshall, I have concerns about issuing burn permits for those in the city. I donít understand why this is allowed at all. First of all, we live very close together. I understand burning if you live in the country and your closest neighbors are not even in sight, but burning yard waste in your backyard in town ó even if the wind is fairly calm ó will affect your neighbors within many blocks. This is particularly obvious if you live next door to someone who burns their leaves and sticks. The smoke can sometimes be so thick and the smell so bad that one canít go outside on the beautiful days that we have recently had after this long winter.

So, my first point is that the obnoxious side effects of burning yard waste are not confined to the burnerís yard. All the neighbors have to contend with it. That is not fair to those of us who would like to enjoy our own spaces.

The second point I would like to make is that yard waste is picked up curbside in Marshall. Why is it even necessary to burn the waste when there is an easier, more environmentally friendly ó and neighbor friendly, I might add ó alternative?

Third, there are people with respiratory problems such as COPD who can be adversely affected. Actually, one could argue this is the best reason of all not to burn in town. We donít allow smoking in restaurants and businesses anymore because of close proximity to others. It affects other peopleís health, not to mention the smoker.

Fourth, I understand that one needs a permit to burn yard waste from the fire department. If we did not allow burning in Marshall, this would be one less task for them, in addition to eliminating possible inadvertent fires from residents burning their yard debris.

I am not opposed to recreational burning, such as fires to roast marshmallows or having a fire to sit around outside in the evening. This type of fire is not included in the burning I am discussing.

If residents agree that the benefits of a burn ban in the city far outweigh the advantages of allowing burning, they should contact their council representatives and voice their concerns. One voice is not enough for them to act. Contact information for council members on the city website: marshall-mo.com.

Marilyn Belwood


Retired college professor