The Lebanon County Commissioners have implemented a temporary ban on open burning.
Citing severe dry conditions and a higher potential for wildfires, the countywide burn ban will be in effect starting at noon Thursday, June 8. Unless extended, the ban will expire on July 8.
Open burning is defined as burning any combustible material (garbage, leaves, grass, twigs, litter, paper, etc) outdoors, either in a burn barrel or on the ground.
Propane and gas stoves and charcoal briquette grills are not covered by the burn ban. Campfires are allowed to be held only at licensed campgrounds with fire rings setup around the campfire.
Violations of the burn ban will be charged as a summary offense, with fines assed upon conviction at $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $300 for the third offense.
Bob Dowd, director of the Lebanon County Department of Emergency Services, said that the burn ban applies to fireworks as well.
“Fireworks present a serious risk in dry conditions like this,” said Dowd. “The Consolidated Scrap fire, which was a multi-day incident, and one of the biggest fires in Lebanon City’s recent history, was determined by City officials to have been caused by fireworks.”
Dowd said that the burn ban could be lifted prior to the expiration if conditions improve.
It’s not yet clear whether the burn ban will interfere with the City of Lebanon & Community of Lebanon Association’s planned fireworks show at Coleman Memorial Park.
“We have discussed municipally-organized fireworks with the County Commissioners and, if they wish to go forward with the display, will initiate a discussion with the City about their intentions and evaluate their plans and fire protections,” said county administrator Jamie Wolgemuth in an email to LebTown. “Recognizing that pyrotechnics companies are trained, insured professionals, with safety and site plans, may warrant a closer look.”
Wolgemuth reiterated that county officials will be monitoring rainfall amounts to determine if the ban can be lifted in advance of July 8.
Find the full resolution from the Lebanon County Commissioners below.
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Editor’s note: This article was updated on June 8 with additional information about fireworks.