INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Worsening drought conditions have prompted more than 20 southern Indiana counties to ban outdoor fires as a precaution.
The outdoor burn bans that 24 counties had imposed by Monday mean traditional fall bonfires, and any type of outdoor fire, are banned there due to the dry conditions.
The State Fire Marshal and Indiana's Department of Homeland Security are urging residents in those counties to adhere to the local bans.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that more than three-quarters of Indiana now faces varying drought conditions due to recent scant rainfall and hot conditions.
The driest conditions are in parts of southern, southeastern and northwestern Indiana.
The State Department of Agriculture is also urging farmers to take precautions during the fall harvest to prevent hot farm equipment from sparking field fires.