Burn ban still on
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Feb. 13, 2006 - After reviewing current weather conditions, and Forest Service and fire department information, county commissioners on Monday morning voted in favor of leaving the burn ban in place as it is with special discretion regarding the ban given to the county judge.

So, for those in doubt, the burn ban is still effective until further notice and those caught violating the ban will continue to be subject to the $500 citation.

The emergency order restricting all outdoor burning was lifted Jan. 30, but the burn ban will continue with the same restrictions established when the ban was initiated in July.

That means folks can cook out on their grills and barbecue pits, provided they have attached lids, and household trash may be burned in metal barrells with screens to contain sparks. However, a person must be in attendance at all times with these types of fires and have a water hose or readily available water source. Welding is also allowed, provided there are two individuals present at all times, as well as a phone to call for emergency assistance should a fire ignite, and a readily available water source or, in lieu of water, a pressured water extinguisher and a 10 pound ABC extinguisher must be available.

No other forms of burning, especially ground fires such as bon fires and brush burning, will be allowed without a permit which can be obtained by calling 903-438-4024. A name, location, type of burn and contact number should be left. Fire officials will then make contact at their first opportunity with the person to determine whether conditions are favorable for a permit to be issued. 

No burning, not even in grills or barrells nor welding, will be permitted on red flag days, which are announced daily by local media sources, or can be determined by contacting county officials.

County commissioners made the decision to leave the current burn ban in place as is based on information attained form the Texas Forest Service, County Fire Chief Carl Nix, current conditions, and information relayed by county and volunteer fire departments. They did however include the provision giving Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap the authority, using those same factors, to lift the ban on outdoor burning provided conditions improve to the point the threat of rapid spread of fires is reduced.

For permits or more information about the burn ban call fire administrators at 903-438-4024, check out the county’s web site: www.hopkinscountytx.org or the county judge’s office at 903-438-4006.

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