According to Emergency Management Agency Director Bryan Husband, there have been only a few fires caused by residents burning materials with the burn ban in place, and they have all been minimal.
"There's been nothing major that I'm aware of," Husband said. "People have been very careful; they haven't been doing anything to make it a bad situation."
According to the ordinance, residents being in violation of the ban may incur a fine of $300 per day, with each day in violation being a separate offense. However, Husband said no fines have been issued as far as he knew.
"The individual fire departments can (issue fines) on the property owner in violation of the burn ban," Husband said.
He explained why it is so important to follow the burn ban regulations.
"The moisture in the trees, and in everything in the county now, is so low it will very easily burn," Husband told The Brazil Times. "It's worse now than when we issued the burn ban. The big thing is the fact that it's not getting any better."
And that is exactly the case. According to Meteorologist David Wire, the drought and rain conditions aren't getting any better.
"We have minimal chances for rain this weekend and a 20-30 percent chance of pop up rain showers next week, but there is no substantial soaking rain in the short-term future," Wire said.
A couple weeks ago, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated an additional 14 counties to the original 36 counties in Indiana as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by extreme drought. Clay County was included.
"Realistically, the drought we're in right now will be felt well into the fall, which could put us into October," Wire said. "That doesn't mean we won't see rain until then, but being this dry it's going to take a lot to get out of this. It took us months to get here, and it will take us months to get out of it."
According to Wire, Clay County could receive 1-inch rains for three days in a row and it wouldn't make much of a difference.
"We are in the worst drought status there is right now, so we'll see the effects for a long time," Wire told The Brazil Times. "We'll be in this drought status into August and September. It's hard to imagine, but it's the reality."