EXTENDED: Commissioners continue burn ban

COLUMBIA CITY — County Commissioners approved a motion to extend Whitley County’s burn ban based on the recommendations by the Whitley County Fire Chief’s Association.The burn ban was originally set by the commissioners to last until Monday’s meeting so they could re-asses their decision for the following week.“The fire chief’s association took a vote, and the vote was eight to keep the burn ban, including fireworks, and one opposed,” said County Commissioner Don Amber. “So we will continue the burn ban including fireworks.”Amber said the order would run from July 2 at 1 p.m. to July 9 at 1 p.m.Tom Rethlake said someone had asked him if fireworks could be done out on a lake.“My response to that is can you guarantee me the wind is not going to carry it?” asked Amber.Thomas LaRue, city fire chief, agreed that it was a reasonable concern since fallout distances are hard to predict.Cathy Broxon-Ball, EMA director, said the county is still shy of rain, and much more is expected before the county catches up to its regular amount for this time of year.“Some portions of the county got less than 3/4 of an inch,” said Broxon-Ball.After discussion, the motion was approved to extend the burn ban.