Call before burning ditches

Call before burning ditches Autumn is prime ditch burning time, and DTG/McLeodUSA is asking people to call before they burn. Fires along ditches and right-of-ways can burn so hot that they can burn telephone pedestals (a pedestal is a green metal box that connects your home or business to a telephone line) and melt the cable.

The damage to melted telephone lines cause outages that put people in danger, because they do not have the capability to call the fire department for help if the fire burns out of control. These outages also inconvenience customers until crews replace and resplice the cable. To prevent burning telephone pedestals and causing outages, follow these tips:

1. Call DTG/McLeodUSA at 766-7741 before burning, and check if our lines may be affected.

2. Pull or cut weeds and grasses surrounding the pedestal.

3. Cover the pedestal with a 55-gallon metal drum.

4. Wet the ground around the pedestal and wrap the pedestal with wet rags.

5. Get upwind about 25 feet from your pedestal.

6. Use a controlled, small flame fire.

7. Burn in this manner until fire is 25 feet past the pedestal.

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