No doubt you're aware: This is fast becoming one of the worst droughts in state history -- No. 3 so far, at a cost of billions to farmers and ranchers. And save for this tease of "dissipating thunderstorms" moving in, or not, from Oklahoma, it ain't gonna get any better any time soon. Which is why, on a very related note, this just in from Maria Arita, spokesperson for Dallas County: Don't burn anything outside. Not for the next three months, at least. No trash, no bonfires, no nothing -- and, seriously, no fireworks, lest you set the whole county ablaze. Well, wait. You can have a campfire. And a barbecue. And there is some ... Look, just jump for the details.
Dallas County confirms a county-wide Outdoor Burn Ban effective Tuesday, June 28, 2011 for a period not to exceed 90 days unless conditions exist for an extension or the lifting of the ban. Dallas County is currently experiencing drought conditions which have created a higher potential for wild land fires. In a County-wide survey of unincorporated areas the vegetation has become very dry and dangerous. While the wild land fire activity in Dallas County has been very minor and does not yet meet the normal criteria for instituting a burn ban, the State of Texas has issued a State of Disaster Declaration under Section 418.015 of the Code, and requested that all counties who have not yet issued burn bans do so.
Under the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), Dallas County is currently shown to be at 500, which places our County within the Moderate Drought Levels. However, the Texas Forestry Service has stated that with no significant predictions of rain in the near future, they expect the potential for wild land fires to greatly increase.
90-Day Outdoor Burn Ban Criteria
Outdoor burning that will be banned:
--Trash in open piles
NOTE: under the Texas Administrative Code - Chapter 22 - Texas Air Control Act - Outdoor Burning:
Residents within the unincorporated areas of Dallas County would still be allowed to burn domestic waste at a property designed for and used exclusively as a private residence, housing not more than three families, when collection of domestic waste is not provided or authorized by the local governmental entity having jurisdiction, and when the waste is generated only from that property.
--Open acre fires
--Fireworks will not be permitted UNLESS in unincorporated areas (Fireworks NOT permitted within city limits). Citizens must have a permit for the use of fireworks on any parcel of land within the county. Violators will be issued a citation if the person knowingly or intentionally violates this restriction. The offense is a Class C Misdemeanor.
NOTE: If you have any doubts about whether or not you are in an unincorporated area - DO NOT shoot fireworks in that area. Our best advice is BE SAFE - enjoy city sponsored or professionally monitored fireworks displays.
Outdoor Burn Ban exceptions:
NOTE: Outdoor cooking fires would only be allowed in proper cooking devices designed to prevent embers from escaping and creating a fire danger.
--Trash Burning in proper fifty-give (55) gallon metal containers with proper protective screening on top.
--Citizen Fireworks in unincorporated areas
--Our Dallas County "Red Flag 4th of July Safety Awareness Campaign will be announced tomorrow (Wednesday)