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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

County EMA director: 'Nothing has changed'

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Several inches of rainfall in recent days has not changed the exceptional drought conditions in Putnam County.

Meeting Friday morning, the Putnam County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) discussed the drought and the possibility of lifting the county's burn ban.

While local emergency agencies have fielded a number of calls about lifting the ban, the consensus is to keep the it in place.

"Nothing has changed," EMA Director Tom Helmer said, noting the area is still nine inches short of normal rainfall totals for this time of year.

Greencastle Fire Chief Bill Newgent recommended the county consult with Drew Dailey of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources before making any decisions on the subject. Dailey is the fire coordinator in the DNR Forestry Division.

Although it was noted that Putnam County has had few grass fires this summer considering the conditions, Newgent advised caution is still necessary.

"I will tell you that the grass fires we've had have been very aggressive -- more aggressive than I've ever seen," Newgent said.

The fire chief went on to say a grass fire in Brown County last week went from a 10-acre fire to 30 acres in less than 10 minutes.

By statute, the county burn ban will remain in place until lifted by the Putnam County Commissioners.

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