CARDWELL, MO (KAIT) - For the first time in the city's history Cardwell, MO residents are faced with a burn ordinance. And many aren't happy about it.
Assistant Fire Chief Lonnie Ward said for years residents had burned anything from shingles to plastic at any given time because the city did not have an ordinance to ban it.
After several people had come to the fire department with complaints of heavy smoke making it hard for them breathe, the fire chief worked to put a stop to it.
"I have had people come to my door at 2 and 3 a.m. complaining of the smoke," Ward said.
Ward said residents who have burned for years believe the ordinance is not fair.
There are restrictions now when they can burn, what they can burn, and the residents must ask for permission first.
Not everyone is abiding by the new rules, though.
"We've already had to fine someone," Ward said. "People think that they are above the law, they can do whatever they please to do because we are in a small town and nobody will enforce it. This is one of the enforceable ordinances that we will enforce."
If anyone chooses not to follow the ordinance, they will face a $200 fine.
"That's not counting the fire cost we can charge you with," Ward said. "Our basic fire cost is $500 minimum."
Ward also said they had several medical calls linked to people having trouble breathing due to the smoke.
"At night the atmosphere is heavier so the smoke will stay lower to the ground and it surrounds their houses and goes into the house," he said.
Anyone interested in learning more about what the ordinance includes can contact Cardwell City Hall at (573) 654-2112.
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