Was the Weekend rain enough to cancel some burn bans in our area? The short answer is No.
As of 11 p.m. Monday night, all Indiana counties in our area are under burn bans.
St. Joseph County Commissioner Bob Kovach told us commissioners will reassess the ban every day but he doesn't anticipate lifting it until the entire county gets at least an inch of rain at one time.
St. Joseph County police say the main way they'll find out about violations is by people calling in to report illegal burning. They won't be able to put extra officers on the road just to enforce the ban.
"It's dry enough that there's really isn't a need to for people to burn anything. If they waited this long to burn, they can wait longer," said Clay Territory Fire Marshal Dave Cherrone. He says it only takes seconds for a small grass or brush fire to get out of control.
Cherrone actually showed WSBT how quickly a fire can spread by lighting a dry patch of grass behind Clay's Fire Station on Cleveland Avenue. Within 30 seconds the fire doubled in size to a 6-foot span and started spreading quickly in all directions.
That's why Cherrone says you should never burn without having a shovel and dirt or water nearby.
Because of the dangerously dry conditions, Cherrone talked with commissioners encouraging them to put a burn ban in place.
The board discussed the issue, hoping to get enough rain. That didn't happen, so commissioners put a burn ban in effect indefinitely.
"Please don't burn," urges District 1 Commissioner Andy Kostielney.
Under the burn ban, you won’t be able to burn anything ... even in a container.
And if we don't get any significant amount of rainfall soon, the ban could extend to 4th of July fireworks.
"Every year we always end up in St. Joseph County with a structure, whether it's a garage or a house, that it ignited by wayward fireworks. So when you have the dry conditions in the grass like this, you're just compounding the problem," says Cherrone.
St. Joseph County Commissioner Kostielney says the county's legal department is checking into whether or not fireworks would fall under the "burn ban." If not, they may vote on a separate ban if outside weather conditions don't improve.
WSBT meterologist Paul Emmick says we can expect a mostly cloudy Father's Day with another slight chance of showers and storms for the rest of our Sunday. It should be a bit cooler than Saturday with Sunday's highs in the lower to mid 80's.
Mostly cloudy skies are forecast Sunday night with some lingering rain or a few storms possible and then a partly cloudy and a bit windy Monday is expected with a slight chance of a few thunderstorms and highs back up in the lower 90's.