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Greene County Commissioners Say 'No' To Burn Ban For Now

Last updated on Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(BLOOMFIELD) - Parts of Greene County did receive some limited rain showers over the weekend, easing the drought conditions.

Nick Schneider of the Greene County Daily World reports that the county commissioners are holding off from imposing a countywide burn ban for now.

At Monday morning's commissioner's meeting, President Steve Lindsey was given the authority to impose a seven-day burn ban at any time, if he deemed it necessary.

At the next regularly scheduled commissioner's meeting the ban could be extended for another seven days, but that's not an option the commissioners want to quickly jump into.

Lindsey said he contacted several county fire chiefs to get their opinion on what to do, but the results he received were mixed.

"Personally, I don't know about it. I don't know if it can be enforced. I guess that is the question," Lindsay said.

Commissioner's attorney Marilyn Hartman interjected that the main advantage of imposing a burn ban is it would allow fire departments to respond to put out any fires - that don't meet regulations - on private property.

Without the ban, that isn't possible.

If imposed the ban would limit open burning, campfires that do not utilize a metal burn ring, and personal use of fireworks.

The commissioners were reluctant to restrict fireworks with the Fourth of July holiday just a little over two weeks away.

At this point, the commissioners voted to closely monitor fire conditions and if deemed necessary impose a ban by a simple declaration by the board president.
Lindsey called on residents to "use common sense" and care when deciding to start any fires until conditions drastically improve.

"I know we as the commissioners would just like to tell the people to use some common sense out here. It's a little drier (than normal) and we realize that the holiday is coming up. We'd like people to use burn rings if they are going to have a fire and for goodness sakes just don't start a fire and act like it's a TV and walk away from it and think it's going to turn off," Lindsey said. "We'd just like to remind everybody to be cautious and use your head."

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