FORT WAYNE – Allen County residents will be allowed to resume burning debris and setting off fireworks by lunch Friday – but were urged to use caution while doing so.
The county commissioners Thursday announced they will lift the weeks-old ban on burning at noon Friday after several rain storms over the past week helped curtail the effects of the summer drought.
Commissioner Nelson Peters said while the action makes it legal to once again burn debris, people should take care to only do so safely.
“It does not mean the drought has come to an end,” he said. “We’ve got to ensure citizens use common sense.”
The lifting of the burn ban does not supersede municipal rules on open burning. For example, residents of Fort Wayne are still prohibited from burning debris. They also can’t set off fireworks until the Labor Day weekend. City residents, however, can resume using backyard fire pits.
County rules allow residents to burn clean wood, or untreated wood products, brush and leaves that originated from their property. The county does not limit the days when fireworks can be used but state law limits their use to between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. every day of the year and later on holidays, such as Independence Day.
Peters said the ban will be lifted because the rain of the past week has helped turn plants green, making them more difficult to burn. He said the decision to lift the ban came from a unanimous recommendation from county fire chiefs.