Harris County orders Burn Ban

HARRIS COUNTY– On Oct. 26, Harris County Commissioners Court approved a burn ban due to an increased threat of wildfires across the county.
There are now 67 Texas counties with burn bans, including Harris, Grimes, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.
No outdoor burning is allowed except in an enclosure that contains all flames and/or sparks, outdoor burning activities authorized by TCEQ, ceremonial fires, non-commercial cooking, and prescribed “hot work”.
Backyard cook-outs and barbeques are allowed, as is welding and other “hot work” performed in accordance with county fire code requirements.

Parts of Texas, including Harris County, are extremely dry and vegetative fuels have reached critical dryness. Observed fire danger is high across Harris County, primarily east of U.S. 59.
Area fire departments have reported an increase in fire number and severity, including a fire in the Atascocita area that threatened homes and required a bulldozer and several ground crews to contain.
The Texas Forest Service has reported that fires burned over 1,200 acres ON Oct. 26 in southeast Texas, including a fire in Montgomery County that destroyed three weekend camp houses and six outbuildings.
Violation of the ban is a Class “C” misdemeanor, punishable for up to a $500 fine. In addition, any person who starts a fire that causes damage to property without the consent of the owner may be charged with Reckless Damage or Destruction, a Class C misdemeanor, or Arson, a felony.
Residents are asked to exercise extreme caution when cooking outdoors. A small spark or burning ember can ignite dry vegetation. Winds will fan the flames and spread the fire rapidly.
The Harris County Fire Marshall also recommend that people remove combustibles within 30 feet of any controlled fire or hot work. A small, controlled fire can easily spread quickly and become an out-of-control, dangerous fire.