Leaves and pine straw are piling up for some Hilton Head Island residents who say last weekend's rain prevented them from burning yard debris.
They want a makeup day, but the town won't give them another chance to burn this month, a Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division spokeswoman said Wednesday. Town ordinance allows two consecutive days a month to burn.
"During the time frame we allow burning -- sunup to sundown -- it did not rain," Fire Marshal Joheida Fister said. "Therefore, we will not reschedule."
Spanish Wells-area resident Bill Neville said rain Friday and Saturday nights left his yard debris too damp to burn. It rained two inches last weekend, according to the S.C. State Climatology Office, which does not keep hourly rainfall figures.
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Neville called the town to ask for a makeup day but was denied.
He said a lack of makeup days is a weakness in the new burning policy, which was enacted when the town lifted its burning ban in March. "I thought when it was passed there would be greater flexibility for burning."
Dot Law, president of the Marshland/Chaplin/Gardner Property Owners Association, supports a makeup day in August. She said the wet weekend prevented several residents from burning.
Fister said Neville's complaint was the only one she has received. She said few burning permits have been issued and complaints have been infrequent since the ban was lifted.
Of 125 households eligible to burn, 10 filed for permits last weekend, she said. Burning "really has been limited," she said
Neville's complaint comes two months after another resident criticized the town for not having makeup days.
On June 1, windy conditions forced the fire department to cancel a North Forest Beach resident's registered burn. Des Darazs and others with permits were allowed to burn June 2, a Monday. Darazs said he couldn't burn that day because he had to go to work, and he was denied a makeup day.
Former Fire Chief Lavarn Lucas has said all nine burns allowed for June 1 were canceled because of wind.
Six of those residents were able to burn June 2. Lucas said it was not worth holding a makeup day for only three residents.
Follow reporter Dan Burley on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.
- Hilton Head resident peeved about yard-burning on July 4, June 19, 2014
- Hilton Head council votes to relax burning ban, March 4, 2014