Joe P. Asher
Higher temperatures and dry conditions have led to an outdoor burning ban, which will include all fireworks not handled by professionals. Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop issued an outdoor burning ban effective noon Wednesday.
According to an executive order issued by Grieshop, “All outdoor burning and backyard fireworks displays in Harlan County is prohibited under authority of KRS 149.401. This does not include controlled and/or professional fireworks displays. This prohibition is in effect until the proclamation has been rescinded by public notice.”
“I urge all Harlan County citizens to comply with this proclamation so that we can preserve Harlan County’s timber resources,” wrote Grieshop.
With the ban in effect, even fires which are normally permitted will now be off limits.
Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill explained the ban includes “burning brush, campfires — that kind of thing. We’re even limiting the fireworks displays because we’re trying to take a pro-active approach to this. We don’t want someone’s home catching on fire. These extended heated temperatures have already heated materials up and it makes them easier to ignite.”
Although the ban will not affect professional firework displays, the public should be aware that amateur use of fireworks is strictly prohibited.
“Any backyard events, we’re asking people to hold off on, to go to the professional or controlled events because the fire department’s are there to oversee those,” said McGill.
According to McGill, the ban does apply to all types of fireworks including sparklers and fire crackers. He pointed out that along with the fire ban, there are other dangers related to high temperatures everyone should be aware of.
“We’re supposed to be reaching almost 100 degrees here by the weekend. It’s been really hot this week anyway. The elderly need to be looked after as well as pets,” said McGill.
According to the National Weather Service, people need to slow down and eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities. Children, elderly or any persons with health problems should stay in the coolest place available. Other precautions include drink plenty of water, dress for summer, reduce intake of caffeinated drinks and stay away from alcoholic beverages.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com