Last Wednesday on June 13th the Commissioners enacted a burn ban at noon that is scheduled to last until noon Wednesday of this week.Â The ban was put in place due to the drought conditions.
Even though we had rain over the weekend, depending on where you were in the county it was ÂĽ of an inch to nearly 1 full inch.Â County EMA Director Clyde Avery said, â€śThe National Weather Service says we are still 6 to 7 inch below normal.â€ťÂ He continued, â€śWith the projected 90 degree temperatures, a heat index at near 100 and the winds picking up, the moisture from the rain we did receive wonâ€™t last long.â€ť
Avery pointed out the upcoming 4th of July holiday and the concern with not only private individuals shooting off fireworks but public displays too.Â State guidelines do not permit governments from restricting fireworks within the structure of the law but the county attorney believes with the extreme dry conditions the state hadnâ€™t taken drought into consideration.
The Commissioners, Jack Roose and Greg Compton approved extending the ban for an additional seven days, thus allowing them to time to see if we receive any additional rain before the 4th of July.
The rules of the County-wide burn ban limits:
- Open burning of any kind using conventional fuel such as wood, or other combustible material, with the exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane (charcoal from permitted grill shall not be removed from the grill until the charcoal has been thoroughly extinguished);
- The burning of debris, such as timber or vegetation, including such debris that results from building construction activities; and
- Campfires and other recreation fires, unless enclosed.
Anyone who knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly violates this chapter of Indiana Code commits a Class B misdemeanor which is punishable by imprisonment for a fixed term of not more than 180 days; and in addition, they may be fined not more than $1,000.Â The County Commissioners also added the provision of having violators reimburse the cost of emergency response services.