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Weekend rain doesn’t dampen chances of fire

Mother Nature provided some much needed rain in areas of the county throughout the weekend, but a burn ban ordinance that was adopted last week remains in effect.
Rick Kerr, chief of the Lanesville Volunteer Fire Dept. and president of the fire chiefs association, and Harrison County Emergency Management Agency director Greg Reas took the initiative June 18 to ask the county commissioners to take emergency action to implement a disaster emergency proclamation due to extremely dry conditions.
Crawford County’s board of commissioners took similar action two days later, using Harrison County’s declaration as its model. And a few counties in Kentucky have implemented burn bans.
Our area is experiencing about a four-inch deficit of rain. Kerr and Reas told government officials last week that the lack of rain is worse than it was in 1999 when a similar burn ban was put in place for the entire state.
We applaud our officials for taking a proactive approach to help protect life and property.
But what effect, if any, did the weekend rain have on the ban?
Kerr said Sunday afternoon that the ban is still in place.
He and Reas plan to reevaluate the situation tomorrow (Thursday) to see if the ban can be lifted. But with such a deficit, it’s not likely.
‘It will take a long-term rainfall like we had Sunday for several days to get us where we’re OK,’ Kerr said.
Additional rainfall has been predicted for the week, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Until the ban is lifted, it’s up to all of us to obey the law.
Even if you recently experienced rain and decide it’s safe to burn something, you are still taking that action illegally and could face significant fines.
There are other precautions you can take to help prevent needless fires that could spread quickly and become time consuming to extinguish. If you smoke, properly dispose of your cigarette butts. (You should do this all the time, as throwing out those butts is littering.) Local firefighters have reported that lit cigarettes have been igniting hay and mulch.
To paraphrase a quote by a famous persona, only you can prevent fires.