Baldwin, county place under burn ban
Douglas County officials imposed a burn ban Friday, which, despite Tuesday's soaking rains, is still in effect for the entire county until at least this Friday.
Paula Phillips, the county's director of emergency management, said the extreme dry conditions were prime for accidental fires.
"There's a significant lack of rain and low moisture in the ground," Phillips said. "It's very, very dry."
The burn ban, which remains in effect through midnight Friday, prohibits anyone from:
Carelessly using and disposing of smoking materials, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes.
Building, maintaining, attending or using any open fire or campfire, except in permanent stoves or fireplaces, or in barbecue grills in developed recreational sites or residential home sites.
Burning of fence rows, fields, wildlands, ravines, trash, debris and other materials.
Violations are punishable with fines up to $100.
Despite rain earlier this week, Phillips said the ban will remain in place until Friday.
"It's going to take a lot of rain," she said. "We are just really dry."
Officials will re-evaluate the ban Friday, she said, and will extend it another week if necessary.
Phillips said because of the danger of accidental fires, it's important everyone adheres to the ban.
"People just need to be aware how dry it is and be very careful," she said. "It takes very little."