(UNDATED) - Several days with little or no rain have prompted the State Fire Marshal's office to activate its Drought Task Force for the first time in seven years.
Fire Marshal's Spokeswoman Pam Bright says there have already been a couple of small field fires in Southern Indiana.
The state is asking fire departments around the state to report any additional grass fires so the task force can see patterns developing. Harrison County has already imposed a ban on open burning, and Bright says the state will advise other counties who might need to take similar action.
But she says people shouldn't wait for orders to take precautions, such as keeping charcoal grills enclosed or stubbing out cigarettes away from the ground. The approaching 4th of July holiday raises worries that fireworks could ignite grass fires if there's no rain before then.
The Fire Marshal customarily advises people to keep a bucket of water nearby if they're shooting off fireworks. With the dry conditions, Bright recommends a garden hose.
Lake County recently got drenched with heavy rain, but Bright says other parts of the state are still dry.
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