TYLER, Texas (KETK)- Due to burn bans currently in effect in four East Texas counties, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Below are a few tips for those in East Texas counties with burn bans.
- Use closed Bar-B-Q
- Use closed Smokers
- Make campfires
- Burn trash, wood or other items
With rain in the forecast this week, officials are emphasizing to still follow the ban, or you’ll be fined up to $500.
Patrick Dooley with the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management said “Just because we get a good rain today, doesn’t mean we’re ready to go.”
On Tuesday, Trinity County became the latest county to announce a burn ban. All East Texas counties currently under a burn ban are:
The ban was issued in Rusk County after there was damage due to wildland fires.
According to Rusk County officials, no outdoor burning will be allowed during this time. However, the ban does not prohibit the use of outdoor gas grills, charcoal grills and barbeque smokers that are completely enclosed.
Any type of open fire is prohibited by a burn ban, according to Dooley.
Farmers and ranchers have been needing this rain, especially in Rusk County which hasn’t seen rain in over 30 days.
“If you don’t have rain you don’t have grass….if you don’t have grass you can’t have cows,” said Jason Davis, Henderson feed store owner.
Rusk county does not allow the use of any rolling unit with fire in the box on any roads.
Also, people may not burn items in an enclosed burn barrel/receptacle. Rusk County’s burn ban will last until Oct. 4.
“A knowing or intentional violation of the court’s order prohibiting or restricting outdoor burning is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500,” wrote the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.
Houston and Henderson Counties also announced burn bans.
The ban in Henderson will last until Oct. 4. This county was the first in East Texas to implement the restrictions.
“We are in real desperate need of rainfall,” said KETK’s Chief Meteorologist Marcus Bagwell.
He also mentioned there has not been rain in the last 30 days for some East Texas areas.
“We’ve had more sun that has allowed for that moisture to begin to come out of the ground and that is going to lead to the potential of additional forest fire chances, if we don’t see more rain. The good news (is) rain chances are in the forecast,” said Bagwell.