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Fire season’s blazing start; police halt open burning

Numerous field and brush fires over the weekend prompted an announcement from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. that prohibits open burning during the current weather conditions.
‘Conditions are not favorable for burning,’ the dispatcher said during the radio announcements Sunday evening.
A lack of precipitation and strong winds create an unsafe situation for open burning. The rain that came Monday improved conditions, at least temporarily.
‘Field fires were driving the fire departments crazy,’ said Greg Reas, director of the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency. ‘The recent winds really dried stuff out.’
Firefighters from the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Dept. battled a fire along U.S. 150 on Friday afternoon.
Firefighter Kevin Robbeloth said there were seven separate fires between the old Stagecoach restaurant and the Harrison-Washington County line to the west.
‘The one closest to the Stagecoach burned about 10 acres,’ he said.
Five other fire departments assisted in extinguishing the fires.
‘Brush trucks were necessary to respond due to the terrain,’ Robbeloth said.
It is uncertain if the fires started from open burning or some other source, but the wind hampered putting them out.
On Saturday, Palmyra VFD returned the favor to the Posey Township VFD in Washington County when they assisted in putting out a large field fire on the north side of U.S. 150 between Fredericksburg and the county line.
Palmyra firefighters responded to two other field fires in their area during the weekend.
In Crawford County, almost 70 acres burned Saturday afternoon in the Beechwood area due to windy, dry conditions. Another 10 acres were consumed that afternoon near Wickliffe.
Harrison Township Volunteer firefighters assisted Palmyra on Friday afternoon, then were called to fires in their own district during the weekend, one on Saturday and two Sunday.
Firefighter Gerald Saulman said four acres burned Saturday on Lickford Bridge Road south of Corydon when burning brush got out of control. Heth Township VFD assisted.
About two acres on Kayla Court in Odyssey subdivision off Pfrimmer’s Chapel Road burned Sunday when burning trash spread to a field. Members of the Lanesville Volunteer Fire Dept. helped extinguish that blaze.
Reas said persons who plan to have an open burn should contact the fire department in their area or call the sheriff’s department first with their intentions. That’s any time of year, he said.
‘If it’s a high-risk time, it’s not a good idea to burn,’ he said. ‘Most people think it’s not significant that they are burning something outdoors, but besides endangering themselves, they are putting the responders, if they are needed, at risk. They are also risking their belongings, as well as those of their neighbors.’
Persons who do decide to burn should have a garden hose ready in case it’s needed and they should try to have extra people around, Reas said.
‘And don’t wait too long to call for help if you think the fire is getting out of control,’ he added.

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