County vows to fix 'terrible' burn ban map

"The new county burn ban, which went into effect Jan.1, still is making residents in urban areas see red. The maps which purport to show the burn ban boundaries are a particularly incendiary topic. Contrary to a previous report, the entire area of Illahee is within the burn ban boundaries, as shown on maps at the Web site, But maps showing boundaries in central and south Kitsap are not all that accurate, and something of a burning mystery for readers such as Silverdale Real Estate owner Ron Ross. While Ross gives the Poulsbo and Kingston maps kudos for their readability, the central and south Kitsap maps sparked his ire. The maps the county put out are absolutely disgusting, he fumed. They don't show (street and road names); you can't read them, he said. The maps are made by the county mapping department, but they didn't have good information to make maps from, Ross said. He said he was told to go to the local fire district offices and check the maps there. Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Randy Billick agreed about the burn ban maps on the Web. They're terrible, aren't they? said Billick, who is head of fire prevention for the district. We've been getting a lot of complaints about them, I mean, a lot, he said. The last I heard there's supposed to be a new set of maps coming out on the Internet. But he also heard they were being put in a road log book with about 70-80 pages. He said the fire services have been taking a lot of flack about the less-than-perfect maps.We have nothing to do with it, it's the county and state, said Billick. We've been holding public meetings on this in Kitsap County for two and a half years. We told them exactly what we needed six months ago, and gave them specifics four months ago. We said we need roads (named) on it, Billick said. He noted that former County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido was chairperson of the county's burn ban effort with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Now that she's no longer a commissioner, Dave Peters (of the Department of Public Works) is the representative for the county, Billick said. But he added, Public works doesn't do maps, and the fire marshal doesn't do maps. Kitsap's Fire Marshal, Derrick Crawley said the problem is several different agencies worked on the map, and the PSCAA contracted the Web site out to someone else. But help is on the way, he said. There's currently a strong possibility the maps will be done by Jan. 19. I have the draft and we're working with the technical staff, Crawley said. He said the electronic map on the Web site will be changed to one that will be more user-friendly. You can point and click on the wiggly lines depicting a road or street, and it will identify the road. The boundaries will be identified by gray shading, he added. Clicking on the road will also show more specific location and the range of the road in the burn ban. The new maps should provide the clarity we've been looking for, Crawley said. "

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