After a dry September put Cincinnati in an official drought, burn bans are currently in effect for large areas of the Tri-State to protect against out-of-control wildfires.
What does that mean for you?
In most areas, a burn ban prohibits lighting anything on fire outside of a grill or fire pit. Because conditions have been so dry due to record-low rainfall, the risk of accidental fires rises.
Cincinnati Fire officials say you shouldn’t burn anything that isn’t covered by a screen, meaning no open bonfires. Fires in concrete pits are OK. Fires must be controlled and contained to the vessel they’re in, and of course the fire can’t spill off of your property.
Cincinnati Great Parks issued a Fire Alert on Friday, meaning campers and park visitors should take extra care to extinguish campfires and grills while spending time outdoors. If conditions get any drier, the parks may restrict campfires.
“The extremely dry conditions increase the risk of accidental fires. Great Parks Rangers are urging park guests to use extra caution when building campfires within fire rings and using grills in picnic areas,” Great Parks officials said in a release.
In Boone County, Kentucky, open outdoor burns are banned until further notice. You can still cook on a grill, light legal fireworks, and burn bonfires no more than five feet by five feet with permission from your local fire department.
Ignoring the ban can cost you. In Dearborn County, for example, campfires not enclosed in a fire ring at least 23-inches in diameter are prohibited, as is openly burning wood or debris outside of a grill. Violators could be stuck with a fine of $200 or more.
If you plan to light anything on fire at your home or a park make sure you contact local officials to see if that area is under a burn ban.