Burn Bans and Warnings Being Issued

By Scott Sarvay
By Max Resnik

June 13, 2012 Updated Jun 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM EDT

NORTHEAST INDIANA (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Emergency management personnel in Noble and Steuben Counties have issued burn bans.

Allen County has also issued a warning to residents about open burns requesting that residents “be extremely careful during this extended period of dry weather.”

All three counties point to a lengthy period of hot, dry, windy weather without significant rainfall.

The burn bans issued prohibit camp and bon fires and the burning of trash, brush and branches. The ban also prohibits the use of fireworks as they “are a rapid uncontrolled heat source.”

TR Hagerty, public information officer for the Angola Fire Department, says the fire department had to battle a major brush fire at an Interstate 69 on-ramp Tuesday after a driver flicked a lit cigarette into the grassy area next to the ramp. The result was a fire that engulfed most of the on-ramp and sent clouds of smoke over the interstate, which Hagerty says could have caused significant car crashes.

“We had a grass fire yesterday, believed to be from a tossed out cigarette along the interstate. With the amount of fire we had going at that time, it about caused a major automobile accident.”

Hagerty says emergency management personnel in Steuben County will be on high alert this weekend as families head to the lakes for recreation. Camp fires and bon fires will not be permitted until the area sees “significant” rainfall. Hagerty is also asking people who use fireworks to refrain from doing so until the ban is lifted. He says one ember can cause significant damage.

Hagerty says there is also the issue of backyard fire pits. He says neighbors should watch out for each other’s properties and urges residents to ensure no fires are lit during the ban. Hagerty says that if a fire is lit inside a resident’s neighborhood, he or she should ask that the fire be put out. If not, they should contact police.

“Contact your local fire department or local law enforcement agency and advise them that, ‘Hey there's a burn ban. My neighbor is burning and I've asked him politely, and he did not stop.’"

All counties say they are monitoring and will continue to monitor the weather as it relates to the burn bans.

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