(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Having received brief and sporadic rain showers over the past two months has much of Indiana dry as a bone.
On Tuesday, Dearborn County joined 70 other Indiana counties in putting a burn ban in place. County Commissioners issued the disaster emergency proclamation effectively immediately.
Most outdoor fires are now outlawed because of the severe drought tightening its grip across the southern part of the state.
According to the National Weather Service, less than two inches of rain has fallen over the past 60 days around much of southeast Indiana. Some areas have seen less than one inch during that same period.
The burn ban issued by the county commissioners Tuesday prohibits the following activities:
1. Campfires and other recreational fires;
2. Open burning of any kind using conventional fuel such as wood, or other combustible matter, with the exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane;
3. The burning of debris, such as timber or vegetation, including such debris that results from building construction activities; and
4. The use of burn barrels for any open burning in residential structures
Charcoal from grills should not be dumped out until the charcoal has been thoroughly cooled and extinguished.
Despite the dry conditions, Dearborn County was the last county south of Indianapolis to institute a burn ban. To help expedite the process of beginning a county-wide burn ban, commissioners approved an ordinance which gives the President of the Board of Commissioners the authority to declare such a ban himself.
Declaring a burn ban used to require at least two of the commissioners voting to do so.
The new ordinance says the declaration by the commission president would be in full force until the next meeting of all three commissioners. The board would then be able to reject the declaration or ratify it, allowing the burn ban to continue.
Anybody found in violation of the burn ban could be fined between $200 and $1,000.
Indiana Department of Homeland Security Burn Map - http://www.in.gov/dhs/files/burn-ban/