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Burn Ban in Elkhart here to stay

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. --  St. Joseph County lifted it's burn ban at 6 a.m., but 79 Indiana counties are still banned from burning, including Elkhart County. ABC 57 talked with the Elkhart County Emergency Manager. She thinks, even with the rainfall, the grass is just too dry and just dangerous to burn.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department has been recieving hundreds of burn-related calls, but they have not been writing many tickets.

"Probably hundreds of calls where people have lit of fireworks," said Elkhart County Sheriff's Department Captain James Bradberry.

Captain Bradberry says dispatch operators have had their hands full with Elkhart neighbors reporting dangerous activities during the burn ban.

 He says one of those calls involved two people burning in an open area.

"They actually were burning in an open area and started a grass fire, where the fire department had to be called out," said Bradberry.

Bradberry's officers had no choice but to ticket the violators.

"An officer responded, looked into the incident and we did cite two people for that," said Bradberry.

But of those 100 calls those two are the only ones Captain Bradberry says he and his officers have written in the past month.

So if there are laws against burning, fireworks, and cigarettes; why aren't they being enforced?

The captain says there are a couple of reasons.

"When people light off fireworks, unless we are there to see it, it is hard to catch everybody in the act," said Bradberry.

"We have other priorites that need our immediate assistance such as if someone gets in a car accident," said Bradberry.

But he says just because the department is busy that doesn't make the burn ban any less serious.

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