|Tyler County Booster - Local News
Stories Added - March 2009
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Commissoners extend Burn Ban another 30 days
Tyler County Booster - March 2009
Tyler County Commissioners voted Monday to extend the Burn Ban for the county another 30 days, giving Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette discretion to suspend it temporarily if conditions permit. Saturday’s light rains, where they did occur, did little to reduce the risk of wildfires in East Texas. Vegetation, particularly dormant grass, remains very dry and fire prone across most of the region, but particularly so in those counties along the western edge of the piney woods. Winds are expected to be elevated across the region, leading to an increased risk of escaped outdoor fires. Only a slight chance of scattered light precipitation is expected over the next five days. The vast majority of East Texas wildfires within the past week have resulted from unsafe burning of household trash, brush piles, leaves and other debris. Most escaped debris fires could be prevented by 1) not burning during dry windy weather, 2) constructing wide firebreaks around material to be burned -- before the material is ignited, 3)with all outdoor fires until they are out cold and 4) complying with outdoor burn bans that are in effect. Additional fire prevention tips include: avoid using welding or grinding equipment around dry grass and weeds; dispose of smoking materials properly in vehicle ash trays; avoid dragging chains or other metal on roadways; don’t drive or park vehicles in tall, dry grass; watch out for rocks or metal when mowing or bush hogging; and keep spark arresters and mufflers on outdoor power equipment in proper working order. Since January 22, 2009, Texas Forest Service personnel and equipment have responded to 221 wildfires across the state that burned 31,680 acres before being controlled. During the same period, fire departments using the TFS on-line fire reporting system battled 1,432 fires that burned 26,802 acres.