Despite recent arguments from members of the public that Indiana Code bans local government from regulating usage of personal fireworks, Kosciusko County Emergency Management Director Ed Rock says that simply is not true.
“Our burn ban is actually a disaster declaration which means all other rules and laws basically go out the window,” explains Rock.
Under Indiana Code Title 10 (specifically see IC 10-14-3-29), local government can issue bans of personal fireworks in the event of an emergency. A drought, according to state law, is among the disasters that the burn ban can be implemented for.
“Before we issued this burn ban we met with the county fire association and we had the county attorney and the prosecuting look over the declaration,” says Rock. “Everyone gave it their overwhelming support.”
Persons violating the burn ban – and those who are still using personal fireworks – can be immediately arrested on a class B misdemeanor and fined. In Indiana, that means a person could receive up to 180 days in jail and be fined up to $1,000.
“That’s obviously not our intent,” Rock says, “but it is our intent to get people to understand these are serious conditions.”
To see the county’s burn ban in it’s entirety read: Burn Ban 2012 revised