Local fire officials warn of dry fire dangers due to drought conditions in region

Storm Center 7 Meteorologists say we need around six inches of rain to beat this drought.

Due to October typically being a dry month, local fire officials say it’s important to make some adjustments to fall activities due to the drought in the Miami Valley.

“The State of Ohio hasn’t issued a burn ban yet. However, we are in drought conditions,” said Sugarcreek Township Fire Chief Jeff Leaming.

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The low amounts of rainfall combined with the warm, dry weather have put our area in a moderate drought.

“A moderate drought is when the conditions have been prolonged dry for a certain amount of time. So far in the Miami Valley it’s been dry for the whole summer, this makes it about three months,” said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Dontae Jones.

The drought not only impacts grass, but also brush fires and crop production.

“Very dry conditions do lead to fire spreads so we would advise anyone to do it (a bonfire) within the parameters of the law,” Leaming said. “ And if you’re burning products of vegetation or brush, those things have to be 1,000-feet away from any occupied structures.”

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The Ohio Department of Forestry has banned burning in rural areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and recreational or bonfires can’t be any larger than three-feet in diameter and two-feet high.

If you do plan to start a bonfire, have a water source nearby to put it out and a phone nearby just in case the fire gets out of hand so you can call for help.

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