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Greencastle bans outdoor burning

September 25, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Persistent drought conditions have prompted Greencastle officials to ban all outdoor burning until at least Monday.

Mayor Robert "Red" Pensinger on Monday issued the emergency proclamation, which implements a seven-day burn ban.

Borough officials will continue to evaluate conditions and anticipate that Pensinger will reinstate the ban for a second seven-day period, Borough Manager Ken Myers said.

He said the Greencastle Water Authority requested the ban. The borough's reservoir has dropped about 6 inches, Myers said.

"Our water authority felt that even though there was a little rain and conditions for a fire might not be as great as they had been, there is a concern with the extended drought there simply isn't extra water to fight a fire - especially one sparked from open burning that didn't have to happen," Myers said.

A storm that moved through Franklin County Sunday dropped about 1.7 inches on Greencastle, Myers said.

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"Our water sources are down considerably," he said. "Our customers are cooperating and conserving water, but we are seeing springs drop on almost a daily basis."

He said the borough decided to take action after a countywide burn ban expired Sept. 16 because most fire chiefs did not ask for it to be renewed.

Myers said it is up to the Greencastle Borough Council to implement a longer burn ban, but under borough code the mayor can only implement one for seven days.

The next council meeting is Oct. 7, and he said he expects it to be discussed.

Ordinarily, Greencastle residents are permitted to burn between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. as long as the fire is attended and does not create a nuisance, Myers said.

The boroughs of Chambersburg, Pa., and Waynesboro, Pa., have ordinances banning open burning completely.

In Waynesboro, Administrative Assistant Melinda Knott said exceptions are sometimes granted on an individual basis.

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