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Controlled burns have potential to become deadly
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 11:00 AM
Don't be fooled into thinking that because we've had snow on the ground that it's safe to burn brush and grass.
In the past few weeks local firefighters have seen an uptick in the number of calls to extinguish fires that either got out of control or had the potential to spread.
The recent increase in brush and grass fire calls are the result of people burning dead foliage to clear fields for planting crops or just simply to clean up property.
To make matters worse, some of the burning has taken place during high wind periods.
Regardless of where we live, we all need to use common sense when starting a fire.
It takes only a few seconds for a small fire to become a raging, out-of-control blaze. Open fires should never be left unattended, and it's a good idea to have water nearby should flames get too high.
State law allows people to burn brush from around fence rows for agriculture purposes only. That's it. There are no other exceptions.
Responding to these calls is expensive. A property owner is charged several hundred dollars if a fire company is called out to a brush fire.
And even more costly is the danger firefighters face when they have to make a call that could have been avoided if some common sense had been used.
The Indiana code allows for burning drainage ditches, vegetation from farms, orchards, tree farms, cemeteries, agricultural land...So how does this opinion piece state that "State law allows people to burn brush from around fence rows for agriculture purposes only. That's it. There are no other exceptions."? There are other exceptions, as listed below.
326 IAC 4-1-3 Exemptions Authority: IC 13-14-8 IC 13-17-3-4 Affected: IC 13-12 IC 13-17-9
Sec. 3. (a) IC 13-17-9 exempts certain types of open burning for maintenance purposes listed as follows: (1) A person may open burn the following: (A) Vegetation from any of the following: (i) A farm. (ii) An orchard. (iii) A nursery. (iv) A tree farm. (v) A cemetery. (vi) A drainage ditch. (vii) Agricultural land, if the open burn occurs in an unincorporated area. (B) Wood products derived from the following: (i) Pruning or clearing a roadside by a county highway department. (ii) The initial clearing of a public utility right-of-way so long as the open burn occurs in an unincorporated area. (C) Undesirable: (i) wood structures on real property or (ii) wood remnants of the demolition of a predominantly wooden structure originally located on real property located in an unincorporated area. (D) Clean petroleum products for the purpose of maintaining or repairing railroad tracks, including the railroad rights- of-way, but not including railroad ties.
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3/27/2014 9:24:00 AM
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