Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - July 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
U.S. Forest Service issues restrictions on fires and fireworks
Houston County Courier - July 2009
TEXAS - Because of severe drought conditions, all fires are prohibited in the National Forests in Texas except those in appropriate receptacles in designated recreation areas.
The Lyndon B. Johnson and Caddo National Grasslands are not affected by the ban.
In issuing the ban, acting Forest Service Supervisor Andy Colaninno said, “Considering the extreme fire hazard due to high summer temperatures and an increasingly serious lack of rainfall, we’re asking everyone to use the highest level of caution when visiting the National Forests in Texas.”
Visitors will be required to confine fires in developed recreation areas to receptacles designed for fire such as gas and propane grills, lanterns and stoves.
The ban also includes smoking, which can be done only in an enclosed vehicle, building, developed recreation site or in a three-foot circular area cleared of all flammable material.
Additionally, as the July 4 holiday approaches, Colaninno reminds visitors that fireworks are prohibited in the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas
“It only takes a few days of summer heat and lack of rainfall to put our forests and grasslands at a high fire risk,” Colaninno said.
“For the safety of the public and our forests and grasslands, we urge people to attend public fireworks displays and to keep in mind that fireworks are not allowed in the Angelina, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and Sabine National Forests, and the Caddo and Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands.”
Law enforcement personnel will be watching for violators.
“Those possessing or discharging fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices in the national forests or grasslands can be ticketed and fined. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s holiday, but at the same time, we want the holiday to be enjoyable and safe for all forest and grassland visitors,” Colaninno said.
The National Forests and Grasslands in Texas cover approximately 675,000 acres of public land in east and northeast Texas.