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Fire Marshall: Burn Bans Prevent Tragedy

Last updated on Thursday, June 14, 2012

(UNDATED) - With warm dry conditions being reported throughout the state, many counties and communities are considering burn bans to prevent tragedy.

State Fire Marshall Jim Greeson says burn bans are pretty much a local issue with the decisions made at the county or municipal level.

Greeson says Indiana law also allows local law enforcement to enforce the bans once put into place with citations for anyone caught violating the ban. The charges could increase to felonies if the violation leads to structure damage or worse.

According to the National Weather Service, the drier conditions can be found in the northern part of the state, however Greeson says the entire state is at risk. He says dry and windy with low humidity is the perfect recipe for what he calls "tinder box" conditions, making conditions favorable for a wild fire to spark.

Greeson says anything with heat, a flame or a spark can start a fire quickly in these conditions from fireworks to an absently tossed lit cigarette out of a car window.

Greeson says Hoosiers who are not in burn ban areas should still take precautions if they are doing anything outside that could start a fire.

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