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Ohioans must be responsible when burning

It was a blaze that allegedly started as a controlled fire, quickly getting out of control and spreading like its namesake near Nelsonville in Athens County.

When the dust settled — and the smoke had cleared — a 25-year-old Nelsonville man was cited for failure to maintain control of a burn on private property and more than 75 acres of public land was burned.

Spring is the time of the year that outdoor recreation in Lawrence County really heats up and more and more people take to the great outdoors. The close proximity to this natural beauty is one of the things that truly makes this region shine.

But it is important that enthusiasts are smart and responsible when burning trash, building campfires or just spending some time fireside.

The state has very clear laws about burning and most municipalities have their own too. Ohio law states that outdoor debris burning is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the months of March, April, and May as well as October and November.

Wayne National Forest, the national forest that makes up 240,000 acres in Ohio, is no different.

Southern Ohio has tremendous assets in terms of natural beauty but these forests take decades — and even centuries — to grow.

We each have a responsibility to ensure they will be there for generations to come.