(UNDATED) - Despite some weekend rain, persistent drought conditions in southern Indiana have made the area's dried grass, leaves, timber and row crops a potential tinder box.
The Department of Natural Resources' division of forestry urges all residents and visitors to take extra prevention precautions.
County commissioners have implemented open-burning bans in eight counties: Putnam, Bartholomew, Dearborn, Scott, Washington, Lawrence, Orange and Warrick.
Without significant rainfall, conditions will not improve.
The DNR offers these tips: catalytic converters in vehicles get very hot, so don't park over grass or leaves. Don't throw cigarettes, ashes, or other smoking materials from your car or on the ground.
Farmers harvesting crops should be cautious of overheated machinery, which can start fires quickly. Homeowners should clear brush and tall grass from around building foundations, and make sure the roof and gutters are clear of leaves and debris. Barrels used for burning debris should also be covered with a mesh screen and be monitored during burning.
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