Allen County residents will be allowed to resume burning debris and cooking on campfires by lunch today – but were urged to use caution while doing so.
The Allen County commissioners Thursday announced they will lift the ban on burning at noon today after several rainstorms over the past week helped curtail the effects of the summer drought. The ban was enacted June 15.
Although all of northeast Indiana has been under a burn ban since mid-June, five counties in addition to Allen have now lifted the bans.
Commissioner Nelson Peters said while the action makes it legal to again burn debris, people should take care to only do so safely.
“It does not mean the drought has come to an end,” he said. “We’ve got to ensure citizens use common sense.”
The lifting of the burn ban does not supersede municipal rules on open burning. For example, residents of Fort Wayne are still prohibited from burning debris. They also can’t set off fireworks – which were prohibited for the Fourth of July holiday – until the Labor Day weekend. City residents, however, can resume using backyard fire pits.
Allen County rules allow residents to burn clean wood, or untreated wood products, brush and leaves that originated from their property. The county does not limit the days when fireworks can be used, but state law limits their use to between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. every day of the year and later on holidays, such as Independence Day.
Peters said the ban will be lifted because the rain of the past week has helped turn plants green, making them more difficult to burn. He said the decision to lift the ban came from a unanimous recommendation from county fire chiefs.
In northeast Indiana, several counties have lifted their countywide burn bans, but local bans might still be in effect.
As of Thursday, bans have been lifted in the counties of Allen, DeKalb, Noble, Wells, Whitley and Steuben and the city of Angola.
Counties with continuing bans and their status:
•Adams – Area fire chiefs and county commissioners will review the status of the ban Monday, according to John August, manager of Adams Emergency Management.
•Huntington – In effect until further notice.
•Kosciusko – Ed Rock, director of Kosciusko County’s Emergency Management, said the countywide burn ban is still in effect and that the online state burn ban map was incorrect in listing Kosciusko as suspending the ban.
“If it doesn’t turn real hot, real quick, the ban may be lifted on Tuesday,” Rock said.
•In Noble County, the communities of Avilla and Kendallville were still under burn bans.