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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Commissioners extend county burn ban

Friday, October 15, 2010

Charlie Brown
With dry conditions continuing, the countywide burn ban has been extended.

During a special meeting Friday, the Clay County Commissioners passed a motion to keep the burn ban ordinance in effect through Monday, Nov. 1.

Commissioners' President Charlie Brown told The Brazil Times that while it has rained a couple times in the past few weeks, it has not been enough to compensate for the dry conditions.

"We speak to all the fire departments to get their opinion on the situation because they are the ones who battle the blazes when they happen," Brown said. "Right now, it is still too dry to allow burning."

Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband said the burn ban had been effective to a certain extent.

"The burning hasn't stopped, but I think it is better than it would have been without it," Husband, who is also chief of the Lewis Township Volunteer Fire Department, said. "For example, there was a field fire in Sugar Ridge Township Thursday evening which burned eight acres."

Husband added campfires are still allowed, but must be contained in a fire ring at least 23 inches in diameter and 10-inches high.

Bryan Husband
"As long as they are small and contained, campfires are alright, but common sense should be used," he said. "You can't burn a pile of brush, and make sure someone is keeping an eye on the campfire at all times. If no one is going to be around, put it out and make sure it is all the way out."

Dry conditions are expected to continue, as the only rain in the National Weather Service forecast in the next seven days is a 30-percent chance for Monday night into Tuesday morning.

"It will have to rain for an extended amount of time for things to improve," Brown said. "A little here and a there isn't doing much because it's not really saturating the ground."

Husband added, "As dry as it is out there, fires can get bigger quicker. It doesn't take much for one of them to get away."

The ban, which had originally been set to expire today, will be reviewed again during the commissioners' next monthly meeting, which is scheduled for 9 a.m., Monday, Nov. 1, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.

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So how is the ban going to be enforced?? I've seen several pretty extensive "campfires" this past week that included leaves and brush....Do we wait until one gets out of control before we step in to stop and fine people??...and what about people who burn tires and plastics that release toxic fumes? Just how do you stop this? Who do you report it too? What about those who burn plastics in their burn barrels? Might be "legal" fire but not legal substances that cause carcinogens to be airborne.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Oct 16, 2010, at 3:57 PM

As of right now, if a department is called to a burn it's up to the fire chief or Fire Officer on the scene to pass on to law enforcement the circumstances of the fire. They (local police or deputies) are allowed to fine the individuals and if the fire causes property damage it can be passed on to the prosecutor's office for further action.

As to the materials, that falls under the Indiana Open Burn law. Which states that only clean wood and certain other materials approved by state and federal law may be burned, and only up to dusk. There are already laws in place to enact fines for illegaly burned materials. You can report it to your local police or sheriff's department.

How do you stop it? that's more difficult, if someone wants to burn it's going to be very difficult to stop them unless you park a patrol car or fire truck in their driveway.

However many burns go unreported. Some burns that are legal get called on because the neighbors have some dispute going and just want to get someone in trouble. I suggest if you know somone is burning illegal material to report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Remember the police and fire departments can't be everywhere at once, we also don't know if someone is burning if we don't get a call from the public. Also remember there are certain permitted fires that meet the requirements of the burn ban.

If you are unsure of what's allowed then I suggest call the Fire Chief of the township or city you live in to find out.

Unless we get significant rainfall, you can expect the burn ban to last for a while. If you think you need to burn something, coordinate with your local fire department.

That pile of wood or leaves sitting around you want to get rid of isn't worth starting a fire that may get out of control and place people and property in danger.

You can follow these links to find out more about the laws on burning. (these are a start, not all of them as it would be a very long post)



-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Sun, Oct 17, 2010, at 11:58 AM

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