Today is Friday, June 23, 2017

Local governments ban outdoor burning

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After consultation with the Mayors of Lebanon, Watertown, Mt Juliet, and Wilson County as well with Fire Chiefs of Watertown, Lebanon, and the Wilson County Sherriffs Department along with State Forestry officials, this recommendation has received unanimous support.

Its not anything unusual for us to do this, said Lebanon Fire Department Lt. Pat OBrien. He added they usually wait until the state issues a ban on burning, but noted they havent done so at this time so the local entities took matters into their own hands.

Unless we get a considerable amount of rain that will go on for some time, he said of the ban.

It is also recommended that the use of chainsaws in wooded areas, agricultural mowing, and placement of vehicles in tall grassy areas should be minimized during this period.

Citizens should exercise extra care with outdoor grilling especially during the 4th of July holiday season as sparks and embers could ignite grass fires.

This band presently does not include fireworks, but officials do however caution the public to their use. OBrien noted officials never really talked about banning the use of fireworks.

Thats something you cant really control, he said.

Hutto stressed the use of extreme caution when using fireworks this weekend and during the holiday celebration. Also, local city fireworks displays are still on schedule at this point in time.

I would ask that folks not shoot fireworks without parental supervision and without a lot of water on-hand, Hutto said.

If backyard fireworks are used it is strongly recommended that a water hose and water source be available and the launching area be placed in a clear area with maximum distance from buildings and outside exposures.

Jewell said the important thing to remember about fireworks is the falling and burning debris from the explosions that are driven by the wind. Residents who may experience a grass fire following fireworks is highly encouraged to call 911 immediately since these fires can grow out-of-control very quickly, surpassing the capabilities of the homeowner.

We realize these directives create some hardship, but the significant loss of property and possible lives out weighs the inconveniences created by this ban. We would appreciate your support during these dangerously dry conditions, Jewell said.

As soon as current conditions improve, an official notice will be issued terminating this ban.

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