Two Central Texas counties have lifted their burn ban after substantial rainfall over the week
Those within Bell, Bosque Counties must inform sheriff’s office of burning to avoid fire department from being dispatched
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Bell County and Bosque County are the first two in the area to lift their burn bans that went into effect back in June, this year.
Bosque County lifted their ban on Monday while Bell County lifted their ban on Wednesday.
Now that outdoor burning is permitted for those county residents, officials are asking you take precautionary action before you light the match.
Bosque County alone saw more wildfires this summer than they have for the past 10 years.
After areas of Central Texas reported receiving one to five inches of rainfall over the past week, city officials saw it as a good opportunity to lift the burn ban.
“They need a chance to burn their trash. Many people in the county have to burn trash. They need a chance to clear the brush. So, we thought we’d give them that chance. This is a good opportunity,” said Bosque County EMC, Kirk Turner.
Before you burn, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Clearing a path around the fire will help minimize the possibility of spread by wind or traveling flames.
- All fires must be monitored by someone when burning is active with water or an extinguisher nearby.
- Anyone looking to burn must call their sheriff’s office to give a heads up.
“If you don’t call in, and it’s legal for you to burn, then if someone else sees the smoke, they call 911 and if they don’t know you’re burning, we’re called out to the scene,” said Clifton volunteer firefighter, Lynne Dahl
Having these fire crews called out for a controlled burn not only wastes resources but takes away in the event of a real wildfire.
As rainfall continues, fuel that would normally help to grow a wildfire becomes wet making it harder for these fires to start and maintain a burn.
For Bell and Bosque County, this is the main reason for burn bans being lifted, but as those fuels dry, fire risk will increase.
“Putting a burn ban back in place now is not as difficult as it was before. It’s not resisted by anyone. If it’s what needs to happen it’s what happens and we’ll keep it in place as long as we think it’s the right thing to do,” said Turner.
Bell County will revisit the burn ban during the next commissioners court meeting on September 6.
Bosque county will continue to monitor drought conditions and weather patterns and reinstate the ban if deemed necessary.
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