Open burning banned

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By Vince Luecke

Drought-like conditions heighten risk of wildfires

PERRY COUNTY - Open burning is banned under an order issued Thursday by the county's fire chiefs.

Hot, dry conditions over the past several weeks have created tinderbox conditions in which small fires started to burn limbs or other materials could spread quickly out of control. All burning of debris, including limbs and branches from the Sept. 14 windstorm, is prohibited until further notice, said Steve Hauser, Perry County Emergency Management Agency director.

According to the notice, open burning includes uncontained campfires and other recreational fires, outdoor fires in which the fuel being burned is not completely contained in an incinerator or approved fire pit and the burning of debris, such as timber or vegetation, including debris from building-construction sites.

Burning in barrels is banned by state law, year-round, Hauser said.

Use of barbecue grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane-type fuels is still allowed, as are campfires in approved metal fire rings.

The ban, which was signed by the chiefs of Anderson Township, Central Perry, Rome, Cannelton, Tell City and Troy fire departments and by Hauser, who serves as chief of the county rescue squad, remains in effect until further notice.

A similar ban was put in place last week in neighboring Spencer County by its board of commissioners.

Many areas of the county have not received significant rain since early August, leaving weeds and tall grass bone dry. Windy conditions Friday further dried vegetation.