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Burn ban includes private fireworks

Floyd County also issues fire emergency declaration

July 04, 2012
If you've been setting off fireworks in Crawford County, stop. The Crawford County Board of Commissioners Thursday morning instituted a burn ban that includes the personal use of fireworks.

The disaster declaration was requested by the county's Emergency Management Agency director, Larry Allen, as extremely low rainfall totals combined with record high temperatures have combined for a potentially dangerous situation.

The fireworks ban, however, doesn't apply to public displays, such as that in Marengo tonight (Wednesday).

"I spoke with (Marengo-Liberty Volunteer Fire Department Chief) Phil Jones, and he's OK with that," Allen said. "He's got his trucks scheduled."

Allen said the chiefs of the other three departments also are OK with public displays, as they already take precautions, including wetting the potential hazard areas and being on standby. He added that they also must sign the Indiana Department of Homeland Security permit required for public fireworks displays.

"I would think that if the fire people are OK with the public display, we can probably go ahead and do that," District 1 Commissioner Daniel Crecelius said.

The disaster declaration addresses more than private fireworks displays, however. It prohibits the following:

•Discarding of matches, ashes or any burning materials from vehicles.

•Campfires and other recreational fires, unless enclosed in a fire ring measuring 23 inches in diameter and 10 inches high in a cleared area.

•Open burning of any kind using conventional fuel such as food or other combustible matter, with exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane.

•Burning of debris, such as timber or vegetation, including such debris that results from building construction activities.

•Charcoal from permitted grills being removed from the grills prior to being thoroughly extinguished.

Following a motion by Crecelius, the ban was approved 3-0.

It will continue and renew automatically until rescinded by the board of commissioners or as directed by Allen.

With temperatures surpassing the 100-degree mark late last week and throughout the weekend, Allen said four churches — Hillview Christian, Lincoln Hills United Methodist, Crawford County Consolidated United Methodist and Pilot Knob United Methodist — agreed to serve as cooling centers for persons without air conditioning or who need to be out of the heat because of a medical condition.

"These are not overnight facilities, but, if someone needed overnight facilities, we could make arrangements with the Red Cross," he said.

The Floyd County Board of Commissioners also issued a burn ban on June 26. By late last week, Harrison County was among 11 of the state's 92 counties not to have enacted a countywide ban.

As of Friday, the Louisville area had received just 0.79 inch of rain in June, far below the average of 3.76 inches. The average temperature for late June is the mid-80s.

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