June 24, 2018

Severe drought prompts fire and watering restrictions in Heard County

(Franklin, GA) — Due to extreme drought conditions across much of Georgia, Heard County has issued a burn ban that will go into effect immediately.

Heard County Fire Chief Steve Wirth issued the ban Tuesday afternoon on all outdoor open burning.

The ban encompasses camp fires, bonfires and any and all other types of outdoor open burning and recreational burning the county states.

Wirth said the ban will remain in effect “until weather conditions improve and reduce the fire danger.”

The ban comes on the heels of dozens of brush and wild fires reported across north Georgia recently due to extremely dry conditions plaguing the area.

A Level 2 Drought Response was also issued by the state of Georgia last week that includes Heard County.

During a Level 2 Drought Response, outdoor landscape watering is only allowed two days per week determined by odd and even-numbered addresses.

Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Prohibited outdoor water uses include the washing of hard surfaces such as streets and sidewalks, water for ornamental purposes (such as fountains), the use of fire hydrants (except for firefighting and public safety), non-commercial washing of vehicles, non-commercial pressure washing, and fundraising car washes.

Additionally, Governor Deal signed an executive order on November 14 banning the use of fireworks until the drought subsides.

The last time the metro Atlanta area had more than an inch of rain was on September 2, 2016. It rained 1.69 inches, according to the official gauge at the airport. On Sept. 18 it rained 0.71 inches and on Oct. 7 it rain 0.13.

Between March and October 2016, 20 inches of rain fell in Georgia. That’s 13 inches below average.

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further updates and information as it becomes available.

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