February saw some of the driest conditions since 1970. According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, eastern Iowa saw some of the driest of these conditions.

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Dry conditions can lead to an increased fire risk.

There are currently 10 active burn bans in place in Iowa, but Andrew Donawa, the Woodbury County services director, told KSCJ it seems like some people have forgotten about the ban.

“That's not the case, we're still fighting this drought from all this dry weather," said Donawa.

He adds, people probably think it’s ok to burn because there has been some snow and rain recently. However, in Woodbury, there have been just over a dozen fire calls in the last two days.

Iowa State Fire Marshal
Iowa State Fire Marshal

He said that farmers do need to still be patient and wait for the burn bans to be lifted.

“If you feel like you need to burn, you should probably call your local fire chief and double-check that the ban has been lifted. And if it is not lifted -- make sure you're not burning," said Donawa.

There are risks when you choose to ignore burn bans. You or your neighbor can get hurt, there are the risks it poses on your property and neighboring properties.

You are also breaking the law.

"The sheriff's office will come out and most likely talk with you and they could possibly give you a ticket for burning under the burn ban," Donawa said. "The burn bans come from the fire marshal's office at the state and then the sheriff has the authority to enforce that as a ticket or a citation or a fine."

If you’re unsure if you are in a burn ban area, you can check out the State Fire Marshal’s website.

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