SOUTH BEND — The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday lifted the burn ban that had been in effect in the county since last month, allowing residents to once again conduct outdoor burns in compliance with county code.
In coordination with the county, both South Bend and Mishawaka also announced Tuesday that the city-wide burn bans are lifted.
The declaration announcing the end of the ban was to take effect at 6 a.m. today.
The board enacted a burn ban in mid-June because of an extreme lack of rain in the area, which remains under a drought advisory. Members said at the time that it would take at least an inch of rain for them to consider lifting the ban.
Since then, the county has received several inches of precipitation, including about 6.62 inches in South Bend, according to meteorologist John Taylor with the National Weather Service of Northern Indiana in North Webster.
As a result, total rainfall in South Bend, as recorded at the airport, is only about 2.5 inches below normal now for the year, Taylor said.
"So I guess that burn ban brought us some good luck," the meteorologist joked, noting, however, that some parts of the county still remain parched.
Though the burn ban has now been lifted, "the Board of Commissioners continues to recommend safety and caution with open burning, burning of debris, and campfires," according to a press release.
A copy of the county's burn ordinance can be found online at www.stjosephcountyindiana.com. Access the county code book on the home page and then click on "Title IX: General Regulations," and then "Chapter 92: Fire Protection and Prevention."
Staff writer Erin Blasko: