Effective immediately, the Hamilton County Commissioners have issued a emergency disaster declaration. These declarations are being issued pursuant to Indiana Code 10-14-3-1 which applies to several types of disasters including drought.
Dangerous drought conditions continue to plaque the area and no significant rainfall is predicted to occur in the next several days. Therefore, with the authority given to the Hamilton County Commissioners by the emergency disaster declarations, the usage of all consumer fireworks is now banned within the county. Per the declaration, open burning continues to be banned. This includes bonfires, fire pits and chimineas. Use of a gas or charcoal grill for cooking purposes is still acceptable; however, residents must allow charcoal to cool in the grill and then douse it completely with water and responsibly dispose of it afterwards.
According to the declaration, “the prolonged lack of rain and excessive heat within Hamilton County, has produced drought conditions within Hamilton County, which have resulted in all plant life, buildings, structures, and other property within Hamilton County being extremely susceptible to igniting from sources of heat which have been traditionally acceptable by the County, such as camp fires, open flames, and fireworks.”
All law enforcement officers of the State of Indiana may enforce the terms and conditions of this Declaration. Any person who knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly violates this declaration commits a Class B Misdemeanor and may be fined and/or imprisoned pursuant to law.
The band will remain in full force and effect for seven calendar days from today unless extended by the Board of Commissioners at a public meeting.
The city sponsored firework shows are not prohibited by the declaration. Each fire chief within Hamilton County has the power to approve, postpone or cancel the shows. Cicero Fire Chief Steven Peachey announced that Sunday’s Light Over Morse fireworks show “has been postponed until a date when more favorable conditions would enable us to have a safe environment.”