Knox County burn ban affects local campers

The Knox County Commissioners have put in place a burn ban for the county due to dry weather and risk of wildfires. One park is taking the ban one step further to ensure everyone stays safe.

Posted: Oct. 5, 2017 5:00 AM

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- For Debbie Moran Vaughn and her husband, camping is more than a hobby. They have been camping at Wabash Trails Park outside of Vincennes for six weeks. They plan on staying there another six weeks as well. 

Even though they camp in their RV they still enjoy the traditional camping activities but until there's a steady amount of rain campfires are off the table. That's due to a burn ban put in place by the Knox County Commissioners.

For campers like the Vaughns it's a letdown but they understand the reasoning.

"It's not as fun to not have a camp fire but it’s not making me not want to have a camp. I would say that," said Vaughn.

There are some exceptions to the burn ban like if you have a big enough fire ring but some places are going stricter when it comes to the rules.

Rama Sobhani is the superintendent of the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department. They are still allowing campers to use grills but have announced no fires will take place in the park.

"We are under a total ban up here. I think there are some restrictions on burning in the rest of the county but we think it's safe to be on a total ban here," said Sobhani.

Of course many campers don't agree with the ban since it takes away from the camping experience but for some they know they are doing their part to prevent a wildfire.

"I mean just be careful and wait till the ban is over with. Don't be sneaky and try to start a fire and cause somebody to die or burn up your home or something," said Vaughn.

Here are some of the rules for the Knox County burn ban:

  1. campfire and other recreational fire, unless enclosed in a fire ring with dimensions of 23 inches in diameter X 6 inches high or larger;
  2. open burning of any kind using conventional fuel such as wood, or other combustible matter, with the exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane;
  3. the burning of debris, such as timber or vegetation, including such debris that results from building construction activities and/or wind storm debris; and
  4. the use of burn barrels for any open burning at residential structures.

The Burn ban will stay in effect until it is rescinded by the Knox County Commissioners.

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