Area's dry conditions halt 4th fireworks

MARSHALL CO. — The dangerous dry conditions that prompted the initial implementation of a county wide burn ban June 13 and a renewal on June 20 continue to intensify, according to Marshall County Emergency Management Agency director Clyde Avery. According to the National Weather Service in Northern Indiana, no measurable precipitation is expected through the 4th of July holiday making it improbable that the hazardous conditions will improve in time for 4th of July celebration activities.
"Regrettably, some tough decisions regarding open burning and the use of fireworks had to be made," said Avery in a press release Wednesday. "The local area fire chiefs were consulted, and based on their experience and the current conditions, they believe that in the interest of public safety, the burn ban should remain in place and that public displays and use of consumer fireworks should be prohibited."
With that recommendation and no expected improvement in the drought conditions in the foreseeable future, the Marshall County Board of Commissioners have issued a new Disaster Declaration replacing the previous declaration that was due to expire at noon Wednesday.
The new disaster declaration will remain in effect until further notice.
In accordance with the Emergency Declaration the following activities are prohibited until further notice in Marshall County:

• Open burning of any kind using conventional fuel such as wood, or other combustible materials with the exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane (charcoal from permitted grills should be thoroughly extinguished before being removed from the grill);

• The burning of debris, such as timber, or vegetation, and other such debris that results from building construction activities;

• Campfires and other recreational fires;

• Public and private displays or use of fireworks.

"We are again asking for cooperation from all residents of Marshall County to comply with the necessary emergency measures, and to cooperate with public officials in order to keep our communities safe," added Avery.
Violators could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor which, if convicted, is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of not more than $1,000. In addition, the individual may be billed for all costs associated with the emergency response.
For additional information regarding fire safety, contact your local fire department or the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency at 936-3740.