ROACHDALE -- The Roachdale Community Fire Protection District is enacting an open burning ban for the areas of Jackson and Franklin townships in Northern Putnam County as well as the town of Roachdale.
Roachdale Fire Chief Mike Poole said the ban includes any type of campfire, recreational fire, leaves, brush, rubbish and is effective immediately.
The National Weather Service says there's no significant rainfall in the forecast for southern Indiana through the first part of next week.
Poole said the lack of rain has created a higher than normal fire danger. While his department has had some brush fires it has put out every one it's been called to.
Statewide, 66 of Indiana's 92 counties, including nearly entire southern half of the state are under bans.
Putnam County has not issued a ban, but Montgomery, Boone, Hendricks, Morgan, Owen, Clay and Park counties are all under county-wide bans.
"We're kind of following the rest of the counties," Poole said. "We were going to go with the county-wide ban, but decided to go before the southern part of the county."
Burning in a fire pit is permitted as long as the pit has a diameter of 23 inches and at least 10 inches tall. All fire pits must have the approval of the Roachdale Volunteer Fire Department.
Those choosing to use a burn barrel must place a mesh wire gate over the barrel and is only permitted from dawn until dusk in the townships and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. within the town limits of Roachdale.
This ban will remain in effect until lifted by the Roachdale Community Fire Protection District.
"We're trying to be proactive," he said. "We've had to assist with a few (brush fires) in Montgomery County, but none so far in town."
Poole said he plans to issue warnings for those who don't follow the ban. If someone suspects a problem he advises them to call 911.
The ban was taken in accordance to Indiana Fire Code 307.1.1, which states, "The Fire Chief is authorized to require open burning to be immediately discontinued if such burning constitutes a hazardous condition."