EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Brown lawns and dry brush are a sign of the times with most of the Evansville-area dealing with drought-like conditions. These abnormally dry conditions are also increasing the likelihood of a burn ban being issued for Vanderburgh County.

“I think at this point we are watching whether the D1 drought status expands geographically, or if it increases to a D2 drought status,” explains German Township Fire Chief Tamara Carr. “And either of those would trigger a burn ban in Vanderburgh County at this point.”

Fire chiefs across the county have taken notice, along with Vanderburgh County commissioners. Officials have recently discussed the dry conditions and the strong possibility that a burn ban would be issued, especially if conditions do not improve.

“All suburban fire chiefs and EMA are consulting one another,” says County Commissioner Cheryl Musgraves.

Fire officials and Vanderburgh County Emergency Management monitor conditions related to temperature, humidity, and wind when factoring a burn ban issuance. They also keep a close eye on the U.S. Drought Monitor Index, as well.

Safety tips that Chief Carr suggests include following the county guideline of keeping fires no larger than 3 feet by 2 feet, and by not burning materials such as leaves, trash, or cardboard. Chief Carr also says keeping water nearby.

“The water piece is huge,” says Carr. “You have to get your hose or something out that you can extinguish it should it start to spread.”