After a series of brush fires have gotten out of control in Washington County due to dry conditions, the Washington County Commissioners have issued a burn ban, ordering residents to not burn anything outdoors until further notice. 

Salem Fire Department firefighters most recently responded to a field fire Sunday afternoon. The emergency order was signed by the commissioners by 6p Sunday.


In an emergency order was signed on Sunday, Nov. 13 by Commissioners Phillip Marshal and Preston Shell.

The declaration says the board finds that Washington County is at risk of widespread fire hazards because of the ongoing drought conditions. 

The commissioners determined that a county wide burn ban affecting certain activities is an appropriate public safety response to the fire hazards presented by the current drought conditions. 

As a result of the burn ban, the following activities are prohibited in Washington County:

  1. Campfires and other recreational fires
  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 for vegetation, incfuding such debris that results from building construction activities and other open air fires.
  4. Fireworks; except under the Indiana Code 22-11-14-10.5

Indiana Code 22-11-14-10.5 prevents local ordinances from prohibiting the use of fireworks

  • Between the hours of 5:00pm and two (2) hours after sunset on June 29, June 30, July 1, July 2, July 3, July July 6, July 7, July 8 and July 9,
  • Between the hours of 10:00am and 12:00 midnight on July 4.

All residents are called upon and directed to comply with necessary emergency measures to cooperate with public officials and Emergency Management forces in executing emergency plans and to obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.

This Declaration will remain in effect until further notice.