Starke, Pulaski Counties Lift Burn Bans

The Starke County Commissioners approved a motion repealing the county-wide burn ban on Monday, putting an end to the ban that lasted three weeks, from June 18 to July 2. Storms that had tore through the area last weekend had brought moisture back to the parched summer weather, alleviating some concern of fires caused by the dry conditions.

North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Chief Joe Leszek discouraged the commissioners from lifting the ban so soon, but the commissioners were also pressured by others to lift the ban in light of the recent rains. A motion was approved to lift the ban with the possibility of reinstatement in the future, and Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem says they will carefully monitor the situation in case conditions worsen.

Regardless, the situation of the county’s burn ban will have no effect on Wednesday’s Independence Day celebration and fireworks will still proceed as planned at the Starke County Airport. Several vendors will be on hand with food and other items for sale, the Starke County Amateur Radio Club is offering demonstrations along with a remote control plane club, and the fireworks celebration will begin at dusk. The Fireworks Committee encourages attendees to arrive early and enjoy the entertainment before the show.

Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost added that the fire department will be at the fireworks celebration as they are every year. He said the firefighters will make sure that launch site is sufficiently watered prior and during the show, and they will also water the areas where firework remnants may land to deter the ignition of any fires.

The Pulaski County Commissioners also approved a motion lifting their burn ban for the year in light of recent weather conditions. The ban did not prohibit the lighting of fireworks, but rather discouraged their use because of dry conditions. Now, however, citizens are free to burn safely and light fireworks in celebration of our nation’s independence.