Advisory: Prolonged excessive heat and dry conditions may warrant a Burn Ban and Drought declaration for Lake County.
Posted on Monday, July 16, 2012
Prolonged excessive heat and dry conditions may warrant a Burn Ban and Drought declaration for Lake County. Citizens are asked to help reduce the hazards from fire dangers.
This has been an above average year for temperatures and for most areas a very dry year. Lake County has exceeded its annual average of precipitation; however, most of it fell within a brief few months. It would appear that the seasonal weather conditions are about a month earlier than normal.
The current National Weather Service 90 day outlook appears that current conditions will continue with above normal temperatures but only an equal chance of normal precipitation. Typically the August and September months are dry for this area.
The National Weather Service is also projecting that Drought Development is likely for this area. Areas to the south and southwest of Lake County will have persistent drought conditions which could intensify.
It is not unusual for the area to go into a dry spell. The summer of 2002 and 2006 were the last times this area encountered drought conditions. The worse conditions were experienced in the 1980s. Since 2006 Lake County has received average or above average amounts of precipitation. At one point in 2011 the precipitation amounts were almost doubled.
Sub-soil moisture is dropping as well as the out flow in streams and lakes. The excessive heat and prolonged dry spell is causing damages to crops and more noticeably to lawns for those within city limits. If current conditions persist the county may have to implement a burn ban and then follow up with an agricultural drought disaster. The drought declaration will not be able to help residential areas, but could help agriculture businesses.
Extreme caution should be considered for any open fires. The City of Madison allows open pit fires provide they are covered with a screen and are at least 10 feet from any structure. All fire should be attended at all times and extinguished properly when no longer needed or in use. To help reduce fire hazards trees and shrubs, to include plants, around homes and businesses should be watered regularly to keep them alive as well as keeping them from drying out. Dry vegetation should be removed and disposed of properly. Field equipment needs to be properly maintained with special attention applied to bearings and gears.
A burn ban within the county will restrict all open fires.
Information Provided By: Lake Co SD Emergency Management