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Burning ban lifted after recent rainfall

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By Dave Taylor

The burning ban issued recently due to drought-like conditions in Carroll County was lifted by Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Rainfall accompanied by high winds swept through the region on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Rainfall amounts varied in the area but Carroll County’s Mesonet station on U.S. 42 east recorded .88 inches of precipitation.

“We are certainly hoping for more rain but I think we have had ample amount of rainfall to lift the ban,” Tomlinson said Monday. “I’ve spoken to people from all over the county. Some had less than an inch. There were some places in the county that had an inch-and-a-half and others had two inches.”

Tomlinson said he spoke with area fire chiefs and fellow judge-executives in surrounding counties before making the decision to lift the ban.

“The fire chiefs were fine” with lifting the ban, Tomlinson said. “Most of the judges have also lifted the ban in their counties.”

Tomlinson urged that anyone who plans to burn should use “extreme caution” and all Kentucky forest fire laws should be followed.

“There some requirements that we have to follow at this time of year regardless of a burning ban or not,” he said.

According to the Kentucky Division of Forestry Web site www.forestry.ky.gov, Kentucky Statute KRS 149.400 restricts outdoor burning during Forest Fire Hazard Seasons. Fall Forest Fire Hazard Season runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15. The statute states that during fire hazard seasons, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The forestry Web site gives the following recommendations for the safe burning of debris:

• Burning should be conducted only during favorable weather conditions of high humidity and calm winds.

• Fires should be put out immediately if windy conditions risk the fire spreading to adjacent areas.

• Burn piles should be small to allow quick control of the fire if necessary.

• All burn piles should be continuously monitored until completely extinguished.

• Keep fire under control and have a source of water and/or shovel nearby.

• Build an adequate fire break of at least a 10-foot width of cleared vegetation around the burn pile.

• Burn piles should be located an adequate distance from other burn piles and/or structures.

• Do not locate burn piles under utilities or over utilities that are buried.

• Do not burn debris under existing trees or other overhead material that may catch fire.

“There are a lot of leaves on the ground,” Tomlinson cautioned. “We certainly wouldn’t want to be burning on a windy day. I caution everyone that they still need to use good judgment if they’re going to burn.”