Iowa Counties Enact Open Burning Bans

September  12, 2013

The summer drought in the Midwest has created nearly perfect conditions for accidental fires. A ban on open buring in Scott County went into effect Wednesday.

Dan Wood from the Iowa Fire Prevention Bureau says Scott is one of seven counties where burn bans are in effect.  

"Basically when the fire chiefs and the emergency managers get together," said Wood, "They assess what's going on as far as dryness. And you know this time of year we've got crops that are drying out and stuff. And given the dangerousness of people setting fires or accidental fires sometimes, they try to at least curb the accidental fires people are trying to burn off ditches or fields."

The other Iowa counties include Audubon, Calhoun, Greene, Muscatine, Clinton, and Webster.  Wood says by looking at the forecast, it seems more counties will likely ask for their own burn bans.

"When conditions are drier than normal and things are drier," said Wood. "Fire tends to move faster. Just simply because there's no moisture in the ground, there's no moisture in the leaves, and the grass and stuff. So it's easier for fire to not only catch on fire, but also it moves quicker. It can really get away from you."

Wood says each individual county and fire protection district will decide when to end their bans on open burning.