Most Burn Bans Lifted; Officials Still Urge Caution


Published on August 3 2012 10:42 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Thursday night's thunderstorms not only blessed the area with needed rain, they also resulted in a lifting of most of the bans on outdoor burning that have been in place for more than a month.

Effingham Fire Chief Joe Holomy, who serves as president of MABAS Division 54 that includes all area fire departments and fire protection districts, said the lifting of the burn bans is effective immediately.  Those include Altamont Fire Protection District, Brownstown Fire Protection District, Dieterich Fire Protection District, Edgewood Bi-County Fire Protection District, Effingham Fire Department, Farina Fire Protection District, Montrose Fire Protection District, Shumway Fire Protection District, Sigel Fire Protection District, St. Elmo Fire Protection District, St. Peter Fire Protection District, Teutopolis Fire Protection District, Vandalia Fire Department, and Watson Fire Protection District.

Tri-County Fire Protection District officials at Beecher City say they did not receive enough rain, and their burn ban is still in effect.

Chief Holomy said, despite most burn bans being lifted, residents are still asked to use common sense when burning and abide by your local community's Burn Ordinance. 

Holomy also said fire officials will continue to monitor conditions and, if warranted, the burn bans may be reinstated.

The rainfall totals ranged from about 1-1/2 inches at Effingham County Memorial Airport to two inches in Effingham to 1.4 inches in Gila to three inches at Lake Sara.  The largest rainfall totals were seen in Altamont, anywhere from three to four inches of rain.

The storm also resulted in interruptions of utility services including electricity, cable and Internet service depending on the service you have at your home or business.  979XFM was off the air from around 6:30pm to 11pm due to a lack of electric service at our transmitter site.

Prior to Thursday night's rains, there was growing concern over the availability of water and the long-term prognosis for adequate water supplies.  News Director Greg Sapp and Videographer Wayne Moran met with Effingham City Administrator Jim Arndt and City Director of Public Works Steve Miller Friday morning to discuss the status of Effingham's water supply. You can watch that discussion by clicking here.