|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
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SJC officials respond to 15 burn ban violations
San Jacinto News- Times
COLDSPRING – Despite the fact that wildfi res racing through Texas are making headlines around the world, San Jacinto County Sheriff James Walters and deputies have answered 15 calls for burn ban violations since Sept. 1, keeping local volunteer fi re departments busy. Violators to the county burn ban, that has been in effect for nearly a year, are located on FM 945 north past Hogue Road in Coldspring; on Hummbird Road at Betty Road in Bear Creek; Hughes Loop in Punkin/ Evergreen (two calls); FM 945 north, one mile off Hwy. 150 in the Punkin/Evergreen area; FM 945 Punkin/Evergreen; Oak Hollow Road at Bear Creek (two calls); Liberty Street and Hwy. 150 in Shepherd; Sherwood Drive, Shepherd (two calls); Wonderland Drive, Shepherd; Devin Road in Bear Creek; Burr Oak Road in Bear Creek and Oak Ridge Road in Punkin/Evergreen community. “We are still under serious conditions and the burn ban is still in effect,” Sheriff Walters said, saying there is a continued high fi re risk danger. San Jacinto County Emergency Management Coordinator Judy Eaton issued a statement Monday stating, “Drought condition and wildfi re danger is extreme. Fires are still burning in some areas around Grimes, Montgomery, Waller and Bastrop counties and losses continue to mount.” Sunday, Sept. 11, Texas Forest Service responded to 19 new fi res for 1,099 acres, including new large fi res in Harrison and Rusk counties. In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 141 fires for 34,933 acres. The latest drought monitor shows 95 percent of the state in extreme drought, with 81 percent in exceptional drought (the highest category). Seasonal outlooks continue to indicate drying throughout the fall, so the drought is expected to worsen. Fires still burning this week, according to the TFS include: • BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 34,068 acres, 60 percent contained. The 719-acre Union Chapel Fire is now included in this complex and is being managed by the Southern Area Type I Incident Management Team. Crews and equipment continue to protect homes within the perimeter. There is no fire burning outside the main containment lines. An assessment team has confirmed 1,554 homes have been destroyed on the large Bastrop fire and the Union Chapel Fire. Two civilians were found dead Tuesday as search crews went through the charred subdivisions. • BEAR CREEK (#536), Cass County. 40,548 acres, 80 percent contained. Twenty-eight homes have been member-owners. Retired as capital credits, these funds will be issued as a credit on members’ September electric bills. The average capital credit will be more than $50. Capital credits are allocated from revenues collected in excess of operating expenses during the previous year. Once the determination has been made that the financial condition of the Cooperative is stable and adequate to meet operating costs, debt covenants and emergency expenses, the Board may elect to return excess capital by retiring capital credits to the Co-op members. Capital credits are proportionate to individual electric use. “Unlike investor-owned utilities that pay out dividends to shareholders, electric cooperatives can return unused capital, or monies collected in excess of operating costs, to our memberowners in the form of capital credits,” says Kyle J. Kuntz, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative CEO. “We are pleased that the Cooperative’s financial condition allows us to credit $3 million to our members’ bills during the hot weather month of September.” Since 1971, Sam Houston EC members have received more than $37 million in capital credit refunds. Members with questions regarding capital credits are encouraged to contact a Sam Houston EC member service SHECO puts $3 million back in members’ pockets destroyed just southeast of Linden. A Type 1 Incident Management Team is assisting with management of the fire. • RILEY ROAD, Grimes/Montgomery/Waller counties. 18,946 acres, 75 percent contained. Active fire behavior was observed yesterday as the fire continued to move south. Approximately 59 homes have been destroyed on this fire burning just west of Magnolia. (The IMT is cross checking an assessment that shows 73 homes destroyed, so updated numbers will be available later today). • DIANA (#545), Upshur County. 809 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning in grass and timber. Twenty homes are threatened. • BOOT WALKER (#553), Marion County. 1,047 acres, 80 percent contained. A wind shift to the south could threaten 30 homes. Access to the fire is limited. • OLD MAGNOLIA/ MOORE, Gregg County. 4,909 acres, 80 percent contained. Several structures and a gas plant are threatened. The fire is burning in pine plantation. • 101 RANCH, Palo Pinto County. 6,555 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning on the south side of Possum Kingdom Lake near the town of Brad. Thirty-nine homes and nine RVs have been reported destroyed. Crews continue to mop up and aircraft are monitoring. Rainfall departures from Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 3, 2011 is the driest ever by far, according to Eaton with the Livingston area showing a deficit -31.21 inches of rain; Huntsville a -29.08 inch deficit and Conroe a -27.73 inch deficit.