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updated: 7/13/2012 6:19 PM

Grayslake fire protection bans open burning due to dry conditions

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Due to extreme temperatures and a lack of rain, the Grayslake Fire Protection District has joined several other fire departments in Lake County in issuing bans on outdoor burning.

Greg Formica, the Grayslake department's deputy chief, said the lack of rain has caused a dramatic increase in fire risk throughout the district. Grass, landscape materials and wetland areas are extremely dry and can ignite and spread quickly, he added.

The large fires produced through those blazes can pose a significant threat to life and property, and therefore a ban is being imposed to stop risk of a fire igniting, Formica said Friday.

"In order to ensure the safety of residents, the Grayslake Fire Protection District is issuing a ban on outdoor, open burning until further notice," he said.

The ban does not include cooking fires or the use of grills.

Grayslake is the latest fire district to issue a ban on outdoor burning.

The Greater Round Lake Area Fire Protection District, North Chicago, and Countryside Fire Protection District issued similar bans this week.

The ban comes on the heels of two major grass fires reported in Lake County since the start of July.

A 20-year-old Buffalo Grove man was accused July 8 of using illegal fireworks and sparking a fast-moving brush fire that threatened dozens of homes. An 18-year-old Lincolnshire man is accused of using illegal fireworks that caused a fire in a slough in Long Grove on July 4.

Formica said Illinois law does allow fire departments to collect reimbursement for costs associated with emergency response caused by a violation of this ban.

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