RIPON AREA FIRE District firefighter Randy Cluppert sprays down a hot-spot left over after a grass fire swept through a rural Rosendale area in October 2012. 		   		    RCP file photo
RIPON AREA FIRE District firefighter Randy Cluppert sprays down a hot-spot left over after a grass fire swept through a rural Rosendale area in October 2012. RCP file photo

     FIRE CHIEF TIM SAUL sees it all the time.

     People think, “What’s a great, easy way to get rid of all the leaves that come down in the fall?

     “Why not burn them?”

     That would be their first mistake.

     But for some, it’s also the one that costs them their garage, their barn or maybe their home.

     All with the hope of saving a little bit of effort.

     So, add in a bit of flame, dry fall conditions and an autumn favorite — wind — and you’ve got a recipe for bad news.

     “People don’t think about the wind and the conditions,” said Saul of the Ripon Area Fire District.

     Unfortunately, fire doesn’t care.

     FOR MOST PEOPLE,  though, leaf burning isn’t just inadvisable.

     It’s illegal.

     “There is no leaf burning in the city. You can only burn clean wood and you can only burn if using it for campfire or cooking purposes. And it has to be in a closed container,” Saul said, adding that people often don’t consider the ramifications of setting on fire a pile of leaves. “I think people, maybe they’re unaware of the ordinance ...

     EVEN IF IT’S LEGAL TO burn leaves on your property, it’s sometimes not a wise choice to do so.

     For those people considering burning their leaves rather than haul them, Saul has a few suggestions.

     “Obviously, take note of your conditions and have some type of water available to put the fire out,” he said. ...

     To read the entire column, see the Oct. 19, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.