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Allen County asks communities to postpone fireworks

Extends ban on personal pyrotechnics

FORT WAYNE -- The Allen County commissioners on Friday extended the burn ban, including banning personal fireworks and strongly discouraging professional displays.

Today would normally be the first day personal fireworks are allowed before the July 4 holiday.

Northeast Indiana and the rest of the state are in drought conditions, and the ban is intended to prevent fires. In the last couple of days, the area has been under an excessive heat warning with temperatures reaching 106 degrees Thursday.

The new U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows nearly a quarter of Indiana in extreme drought, as much of the state faces the driest June on record. The map shows counties in the Evansville area and much of the area between Fort Wayne and South Bend with the driest conditions.

Last week's report had labeled about 5 percent of the state in extreme drought. The parched conditions have worsened to the point where 87 percent of Indiana is listed as in at least moderate drought.

The National Weather Service has recorded less than one-tenth of an inch of rain this month in Indianapolis and a quarter of an inch in Fort Wayne.

Throughout northeast Indiana, several communities' fireworks displays have been canceled or postponed until a later date.

For more on this story, see Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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