County adopts burn ban

By on April 18, 2012

The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners have established a temporary ban on open burning which took effect on April 13. The action was taken based on concern for continuing dry conditions and number of brush fires in the County during the past few weeks. It was also noted that numerous Lancaster County Fire companies assisted a a 400+ acre brush fire in Berks County.

State Law allows to Fire Chiefs within a County to request a temporary ban from the District Forester. The District Forester received the request from the Chief’s and made a written recommendation for the ban to the Board of Commissioners. The ban is scheduled to be in effect until May 12, but can be rescinded early if conditions improve or it can be extended, if needed.

By the Resolution, open burning is defined as the ignition and subsequent burning of any combustible material (garbage, leaves, grass, twigs, litter, vegetative matter involved with land clearing or any other sort of debris) out of doors in either a burn barrel (screened or unscreened), fire ring, or on the ground.

Exemption is given to all fires for the exclusive purpose of food preparation. Enclosed incinerators and masonry fire pits are also not covered by the ban.

Randall S. Gockley, County Emergency Management Coordinator, stated "this action is being taken to reduce the risk of serious brush and forest fires during this unusual dry period. The Dept. of Forestry has advised us the fire danger has been high to extreme during the past week. Lancaster County has been under Red Flag Warnings, indicating extremely dangerous conditions, for six days this past month which is very rare. Gockley stated, "We had flood condition last fall, but with a winter with little snow and having a deficit of 3- 1/2 inches of rain below normal this year, conditions are extremely dangerous." The fire service is asking for citizens to cooperate with the temporary ban until substantial rainfall occurs and the dangers diminish. Contact Randy Gockley at 800-808-5236 for additional information. More BURN BAN, page A14

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