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Burn ban is on

"The sunny, dry weather and low humidity this summer has its downside. Right now Whidbey Island is like a Ford Pinto in a demolition derby - it could burst into flames at any time.To prevent this, government officials have established a burn ban for both Island County and Oak Harbor.Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley, acting as the county fire marshal, and Oak Harbor fire Chief Mark Soptich announced the burn ban July 20. The ban runs from noon July 20 to Aug. 20 unless extended at a later date.In the county, the burn ban outlaws all outdoor fires except for established fire pits in campgrounds, cooking fires within fire pits or barbecues. In the city, the ban outlaws all burns except barbecues. Fire departments in the island, especially Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue, have been called to an unusually high number of brush and grass fires this month. Several of them started from out-of-control burns."

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