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Dry Fort Wayne at high risk for fires

Statement as issued Friday:

FORT WAYNE, IND., June 8, 2012 – With the Fort Wayne area experiencing a moderate drought and with little rain in the forecast, the Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) would like to remind citizens to be diligent with fire safety and prevention.

“The hot, dry weather can cause several emergency conditions that could harm you or your property, says Fire Chief Pete Kelly. “Dry grass, trees and shrubs can be ignited easily. With little moisture in the atmosphere and on the ground, a simple campfire or a discarded cigarette can cause a fire that can quickly spread.”

The FWFD offers several tips to help keep you and your family safe this summer.

Dry Weather Fire Safety Tips

Tobacco products – Dispose of smoking materials into appropriate containers. Tossing smoldering materials, including cigarettes, onto the ground should be avoided.

• Never throw a lighted cigarette out the window of a vehicle.

• Never walk off and leave a burning cigarette.

• Use ash trays.

Outdoor cooking -- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Avoid placing the grill on dry grass or leaves.

• Never leave an outdoor charcoal or gas grill unattended.

• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Recreational fires – There is no open burning allowed within the city limits with the exception of campfires and permitted bonfires. Chimneas and outdoor fire places are not regulated at this time.

• Keep away from flammable material and fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or vehicles while in use.

• Fire shall not exceed an area 3 feet wide by 2 feet high and if the open burning creates a smoke nuisance, or a hazardous condition exists, the open burning shall be immediately extinguished.

• Do not burn trash, leaves, paper, cardboard, or plywood. Avoid using soft wood such as pine or cedar that likely pop and throw sparks. Use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.

• A fire shall be attended by a responsible party at all times until completely extinguished.

• A fire shall be located at least 25 feet away from any structure, fence or right of way.

• Before starting the fire, make sure that the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency. Do not overload.

• Before you light the fire, check the wind direction.

• Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.

• Keep children and pets away from fire.

• Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing.

Fireworks – Fireworks are restricted to June 29th to July 3rd and then July 5th to July 9th between the hours of 5:00 p.m. to two hours after sunset; on July 4th, fireworks can be discharged between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight.

  • Store fireworks in a cool dry area.
  • When using fireworks, always have a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose, or bucket of water nearby.
  • Be cautious when lighting fireworks when it is windy.
  • If fireworks do ignite a fire, contact your local fire department or 911 immediately. Do not attempt to extinguish a large fire by yourself.
While no burn ban has been issued locally, the Fort Wayne Fire Department is continuously monitoring the conditions. Burn bans can be ordered by any local fire chief for his or her jurisdiction, or by the legislative body of a city, town or county. You can check the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office map to indicate what areas are currently under local burn bans. This map is available at http://www.in.gov/dhs/files/burn-ban.

Send items for The Scoop to jgnews@jg.net.

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