Commissioners court lifts burn ban; advises caution
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
After discussion of continuing fire danger, the Houston County Commissioners Court lifted the burn ban Monday, Nov. 14.Fire Marshal David Lamb and County Judge Lonnie Hunt both noted the drought index is higher now than when the burn ban first was put in place.However, Hunt said, “It’s not normal circumstances and there are people out there in need of relief.”The judge also said, “It may be the best opportunity we have for a long time.”Lamb described the situation as a double-edged sword. There are health concerns about household garbage that is piling up in some places, and there are concerns about winds that are expected to pick up this week.The fire marshal also noted that the people of Houston County have been “really good” about adhering to the burn ban. He said fewer than 20 citations were written over the last four months.In lifting the burn ban, the commissioners court indicated it could be only temporary. “It only takes a phone call to the judge to put it back on,” Lamb said.Lamb also said that the ground is so dry, the small amounts of rain the county has received recently is being absorbed quickly.“If we don’t get additional rain soon we’ll have to put it back on,” Hunt said.Residents who burn are asked to just burn the household trash; save the big brush piles for safer conditions later.Also, residents are advised not to burn when it’s windy and to attend any fires at all times.On Tuesday, Nov. 15 the sheriff’s office received a number of calls from vigilant residents, but the fires they saw were controlled burns. The controlled burns wee monitored throughout the night.Also on Tuesday, lightening struck an oil/gas well and a tank, but those fires were quickly extinguished.