Parker County Commissioners voted 4-1 Monday, June 13 to institute a burn ban for Parker County for the next 30 days.
“As we all know, we are currently experiencing extremely dry conditions,” Parker County Judge Mark Riley said. “When conditions are this dry, wildfires can happen very easily and then spread quickly. We want to do everything we can to avoid any situations similar to what happened at Possum Kingdom Lake back in April or the Peaster Wildfires from the 90s.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner John Roth voted against the measure.
“I am absolutely, 100 percent for safety, but I’m also not for penalizing law-abiding citizens who take the proper precautions,” Roth said. “There are good days and bad days to burn, burn ban or not. What’s your threshold of government?”
Roth pointed out that exceptions are made for welders who take the proper precautions, and said the same kind of allowances could be made for people who need to burn brush.
According to the Texas Forest Service, 204 counties in Texas have burn bans in place in addition to Parker County. http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/DecBan.png
The burn ban is for 30 days and is set to expire on July 12 unless it is renewed by commissioners court or withdrawn by commissioners court.
Violation of the burn ban is a Class C Misdemeanor and could result in a fine of up to $500 plus court costs. Violations include the use of combustible materials, including outdoor welding, however where welding must be performed in the field, the following mitigating efforts will be in force until the burn ban has expired:
All areas where welding, cutting or grinding operations are being performed will be free of vegetation for at least twenty five feet in all directions;
Surface around welding area will be wetted down;
Wind speeds must be no more than 20 miles per hour while performing welding, cutting or grinding operations outside of barriers or enclosures;
A dedicated fire watch person will attend each welder, cutter, grinder and any activity that causes a spark;
A minimum of one (1) water pressure fire extinguisher per fire watch person is required;
Each site will have cellular telephone communications for emergency response;
For additional welding guidelines, download a copy of the burn ban declaration below: