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Harris County Officials Issue Outdoor Burn Ban

Remember the torrential rains and flooding that swept through the region this spring? The extreme summer heat has now led to dry condition, and counties across southeast Texas are issuing burn bans.

 

Harris County Commissioners have approved an outdoor burn ban which goes into effect immediately. Officials in Montgomery, Brazoria and Waller Counties have also issued bans.

Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery said the recent heat and lack of rainfall are inching the region closer to a drought, and at this point, burning is a public safety hazard.

“Outdoor burning, the number of fires is increasing, and also the behavior of the fires is also starting to change, and this is precautionary in nature, but we believe it’s also a necessary step,” Montgomery said.

He said residents will have to use covered containers to burn any household trash, vegetation or campfires.

The ban affects all unincorporated parts of Harris County and runs through October 13, but Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said it could be lifted sooner if the region sees more rainfall.

“Obviously if you’re in a barbeque grill, then that’s a different thing than an open fire, but the burn ban prohibits all open fires,” Emmett said.

Penalties for violating a ban can range from fines to being charged with a misdemeanor crime.

 

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