On October 6th Marshall County joined dozens of other counties in the state to ban open burning due to the extreme dry weather conditions. The one week ban was extended on October 13th with an open-ended date with the commissioners stating “until conditions improve.”
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said, “Folks are not heeding the declaration.” Area fire departments have responded to several fires during just the past couple of days that could have been avoided if they had complied with the burn ban.
Monday the commissioners enacted a new disaster emergency declaration that now includes penalty. Those who are found to have deliberately started a fire will be responsible for ALL costs associated with emergency crews responding to the fire. The costs will include time and material for fire, EMS and police agency services.
Commissioner Jack Roose said, “There’s just no appreciable moisture in the forecast for the next two weeks, and we need to educate the public that it’s really dry and a potentially dangerous situation.”
Although some rain fell Monday morning, drought conditions continue. According to U.S Drought Monitor the upper third of the state is “abnormally dry” while the midsection and southwestern area are “moderately dry” and the southeastern section is “severely dry” with a portion being “extremely dry.”
The Marshall County-wide burn ban prohibits open burning of any kind using conventional fuel such as wood or other combustible material. Citizens are not to burn debris including timber or vegetation including leaf burning. Campfires are permitted if enclosed along with grilling using charcoal or propane.
County Attorney Jim Clevenger encouraged the commissioner to act immediately on the emergency disaster declaration with an ordinance to follow.