2012-06-26 / Front Page

County-Wide Burn Ban Issued Friday; In Effect Until July 2nd

Staff Report

Owen County Emergency Management Director Jack White has issued a Disaster Emergency Proclamation that remains in effect until Monday, July 2.

According to White, the Owen County Board of Commissioners signed the emergency, county-wide “burn ban” proclamation Friday due to the ongoing drought conditions and the subsequent risk of widespread fire hazards.

The proclamation reads as follows:

“Whereas, Owen County, Indiana is immediately threatened by a natural disaster-specifically county wide drought conditions, and;

“Whereas, as of the 22nd day of June, 2012 we find Owen County to be at risk of widespread fire hazards because of the ongoing drought conditions and;

“Whereas, a county-wide burn ban affecting certain activities is an appropriate public safety response to the fire hazards presented by the current drought conditions;

“Now therefore, we, the Owen County Board of Commissioners, declare, pursuant to the provisions of IC 10-14-3-29, that a state of emergency exists in the county and that we hereby invoke and declare those portions of the Indiana Code which are applicable to the conditions and have caused the issuance of this proclamation, to be in full force and effect in the County for the exercise of all necessary emergency authority for protection of the lives and property of the people of Owen County.

“We also declare that, effective immediately, the following activities are prohibited in Owen County:

•Campfires and other recreational fires, unless enclosed in a fire ring with dimensions of 23 inches in diameter by 10 inches high or larger;

•Open burning of any kind using conventional fuel such as wood, or other combustible matter, with the exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane; the burning of debris, such as timber or vegetation, including such debris that results from building construction activities; and

•Burning will be allowed in burn barrels with a one-quarter inch mesh top from dawn to dusk only.

•Charcoal from permitted grills shall not be removed from the grills until the charcoal has been thoroughly extinguished.

“In addition, we strongly encourage our residents to attend public displays of fireworks and limit their personal use of fireworks to those that do not leave the ground, and that they refrain from using aerial firework devices.

“Reference is hereby made to all appropriate laws statutes, ordinances and resolutions and particularly to Section 10-14-3-29 of the Indiana Code.

“All public offices and employees of Owen County are hereby directed to exercise the utmost diligence in the discharge of duties required of them for the duration of the emergency and in execution of emergency laws, regulations, and directives whether state and local.

“All residents are called upon and directed to comply with necessary emergency measures, to cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans, and to obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.

“All operating forces will direct their communications and requests for assistance and operations directly to the Emergency Operations Center.”

The county-wide burn ban remains in effect until July 2nd, at which time the Owen County Board of Commissioners will revisit the emergency to decide if the need for an extension of the emergency proclamation is necessary.

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