A ban on open burning in that began 10 days ago has been extended for another week.
The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners signed an extension for the burn ban expiring July 2. The ban also discourages the use of personal fireworks not part of an organized display.
Almost 60 Indiana counties have issued burn bans because of the dry weather, and the forecast for the next week does not offer any signs of relief. To reduce the risk of fire hazards, Elkhart County’s ban prohibits campfires and other recreational fires. Open burning using wood and other combustible materials is also not allowed under the ban. County residents may not set fire to debris, including timber and vegetation. Charcoal and propane-fueled grills may be used. Burning is limited to barrels with a quarter-inch thick mesh top from dawn to dusk. Violating the burn ban carries a fine of up to $1,000.
Michael Pennington, deputy director for the Elkhart County Department of Emergency Management, said fire departments have fielded several calls during the past week about grass fires and smoldering debris.
“You would think that the fire departments might be aggravated by that, but they’re not,” Pennington told the commissioners today, June 25. “It’s because we’re responding to those things that they’re not moving on to buildings and personal property, so it’s a good thing to have in place.”