Family and Friends gather around open fire in late April
After receiving a recommendation from the Campbell County Fire Department, the Campbell County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to adopt a partial fire ban resolution, effective Wednesday at midnight until the issue is revisited this fall.
“We haven’t had to do this for a couple years due to the precipitation that we’ve enjoyed,” Fire Chief Jeff Bender said during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting. “But this year, that is not the case.”
The board adopted the resolution Tuesday after Commission Chairman DG Reardon explained that he had also been approached by several agriculturists around the County with concerns about their hay crops “going up in smoke,” due to the lack of moisture this year.
The decision follows the commission’s ban on at-home firework sales, which took effect Tuesday at midnight.
During an interview with County 17 on Tuesday, Reardon said that Campbell County allows firework sales for only two weeks of the year, leading up to the 4th of July before local governance bans them.
Fire warden Dale Izatt also spoke to this.
“The week of the 4th of July, we did see a lot more rain than usual,” Izatt said. “But if you go out now, you’ll see that everything is a lot drier and more likely to catch fire.”
The County’s burn ban does not apply to trash, charcoal, industrial burning within a 10-foot clearing, open branding or chainsaw usage. However, Izatt recommended that residents check their area for Red Flag warnings before igniting one of these exempted fires.
“The website will tell you all about the weather conditions and let you know when it’s not safe to have a fire,” he said. “I highly recommend that people check it out before they start burning.”
This year, he explained, fires have been burning more intensely and spreading more rapidly than in previous years and for that reason, the open burning and fireworks just had to go.
The Fire Ban Resolution states that violation can result in a fine up to $100 and up to 30 days confinement or both with restitution for the costs of damages caused to others and fire suppression.