With the weather becoming increasingly dry, the likelihood of fires increases as well.
Burn bans are issued during these dry periods and outlaw any kind of burning due to the increased likelyhood nearby buildings could catch fire and damage property.
In Ottumwa, the bans are issued by the Emergency Management Coordinator.
The Ottumwa Fire Department recently responded to a small leaf fire during which flames caught a brush pile on fire and spread all the way to a garage.
This is why Assistant Fire Chief Mike Craff said it is important to exercise caution when burning.
"If people are going to, just use kind of a common sense approach," said Craff. "If it's slightly windy, it doesn't take long for a fire to get out of control. So we just ask people to use their heads. If your'e burning a small pile wet around it and keep an eye on where the embers and ashes go because that could also start fires."
Craff said roughly two bans are issued each year with one in the fall and one in the spring.
Summer droughts can warrant burn bans as well.