TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Many East Texans are wondering if cooking outside during a burn ban is legal. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the answer is yes, fires used in the noncommercial preparation of food is allowed.

Local officials urge all residents in burn ban areas to use common sense when handling flammable materials. Here are some suggested tips from the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office when cooking outside:

  • Gas grills are the safest outdoor cooking option. Please keep the flames covered during the operation of your grill.
  • If you use a charcoal or wood-burning frill or smoker, it must be placed on a concrete, gravel or dirt surface at least five feet from any combustible materials.
  • Be sure to have a water source nearby in the event flames get out of control.
  • Do not leave the cooker or grill unattended at any time.

Please note that if you cause a fire that destroys or damages other people’s property in any way, you may be held responsible.