Burtron places city on burn ban

Siding from the home melted away from a fire that could have been a disaster for a Westfield homeowner. (Photo submitted)

Because of the recent dry conditions and no significant rainfall in the forecast, Westfield Fire Chief Todd Burtron announced a temporary ban on open burning June 26. Residents who choose to ignore this ban of open burning they will be committing a Class C infraction that carries fines up to $500 per instance.

The National Weather Service reported Central Indiana set the record for the longest dry period in June in history. This dry weather has caused grass, crops and leaves to dry up creating an extremely hazardous fire condition. The current forecast does not show any relief from the dry conditions causing the hazard to become more serious.

Burtron

“The extremely dry conditions pose a significant threat to life and property,” said Burtron. “Extreme temperatures are expected later this week with little to no rainfall will continue to create drier conditions and more need to protect homes, families and properties from the exposure to fire.”

Burtron said this temporary ban of open burning is effective for the City of Westfield along with Washington Township in Hamilton County. This ban prohibits any open burning, comfort fires, agriculture burning or similar legal fires until weather conditions improve. Residents are allowed to use a grill to cook, but firefighters still urge caution.

The open burning ban will remain in effect until lifted by Burtron. The mayor’s office urges all citizens to follow this ban to protect lives and property of the Westfield community. This burn ban does not include fireworks. However, the city discourages the use of consumer fireworks during these dry weather conditions. If using consumer fireworks, officials recommend residents use extreme caution and enjoy fireworks in a safe and responsible manner.

The same time Burtron announced the burn ban, a homeowner got lucky after an unintentional grass fire almost ignited their home. At approximately 1 p.m. June 26, firefighters rushed to the home at 3849 Crest Point Dr. A next door neighbor and a postal employee saw flames shooting from the rear of the house, grabbed a garden hose, and began to extinguish the flames. Westfield firefighters arrived shortly after to find the grass fire out and the next door neighbor suffering from smoke inhalation. Paramedics from the fire department treated the neighbor who was released on the scene.

“I cannot stress how important it is for people not to put out fires own their own–it’s just too dangerous,” said WFD Spokesman John Barrett.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by a cigarette and damage to the home is estimated at $1,000. No other injuries were reported.