After-dark burning call elicits reminder

From Local Sources

JASPER — The Celestine Volunteer Fire Department is reminding the public of open burning rules after answering a Monday night report of fire and black smoke showing east of Jasper.

The department was called at 9:47 p.m. to a property on County Road 325E about a quarter mile north of State Road 164.

Fire Chief Ryan Wineinger said the fire turned out to be a controlled burn that had not been reported to dispatch.

One truck and eight firefighters continued to the scene to ensure there was no problem and to take down information.

The callout found Wineinger reminding the public of several points.

First, not only is it illegal to burn garbage, treated wood, furniture, paper or anything that is not yard waste and untreated wood, state burning regulations ban burning at night. All fires are to be extinguished before sunset.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management says that, even when the burning of yard waste might be allowed, it is never advised. The smoke from any fire can linger at ground level where family members and neighbors can be affected. Alternatives to burning yard waste include starting a compost pile or borrowing or renting a wood chipper to turn branches and brush into mulch for landscaping.

Also, Wineinger said property owners are reminded to notify authorities about planned controlled burns in advance by calling applicable dispatchers. No burning should take place during windy conditions.

Finally, when possible, Wineinger encouraged anyone who spots an outdoor fire to inquire if it might be a controlled burn before calling dispatch.

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