Brush fire prompts warning

By The Associated Press

CHESTERTON — The public should stop openly burning materials outside after a string of brush fires in Northwest Indiana, fire officials say.

Fall conditions can enhance the potential for wildfires, the Liberty Township Volunteer Department warned In a statement Monday, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

The season “increases the fuel load on the ground as the humidity in the material dries out, increasing the potential for fire activity,” it said.

Two large brush fires broke out in Lake County last week. A 4-acre parcel of land burned Saturday in Crown Point. The fire’s cause was traced to residents burning materials in their backyard.

On Wednesday, homes were evacuated after a brush fire grew out of control in Gary. Large plumes of smoke covered a section of Interstate 80, and some utility poles along the highway burned, Indiana State Police said. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

Nobody was injured in either fire, authorities said.

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