Lubbock County Now Under Burn Ban

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Lubbock County Commissioners approved a burn ban on Friday morning.  The vote was unanimous. 

Lubbock joins Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Briscoe, Hall, Bailey, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cochran, Crosby, Yoakum, Lynn, Garza, Borden, and Scurry counties in the region with burn bans according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. 

Not including Lubbock, A&M listed 92 counties in Texas with burn bans Friday morning. 

Most of Lubbock County was in severe drought as of Thursday according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor.  Places to the southwest of Lubbock were in moderate drought while places to the east were listed in extreme drought.  

One year ago, very little of Texas was in drought. 

Up until now, Lubbock County had only restricted outdoor burning during Red Flag Warnings from the National Weather Service.  

A written statement Friday afternoon said, “Outdoor Cooking and /or Barbecuing are allowed in the unincorporated area of Lubbock County, as long as the fire is contained within an enclosed cooking container or a container with a lid.”

Lubbock County issued the following statement early Friday afternoon: 

Lubbock County Issues Burn Ban for 90 day

Pursuant to the Texas Government Code Chapter 352, Sub chapter D, Section 352.081 the Lubbock County Commissioners Court has issued a burn ban for the unincorporated areas of Lubbock County, The ban is effective starting Friday April 20, 2018, and will run for 90 days.

A person violates this order if he / she burns any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or sparks, or orders such burning by others.

The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning.

This order may be enforced by any duly-commissioned peace officer.

A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally violates a prohibition established by this order. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.00.

This burn ban was established, due to Critical and Extreme Fire Weather conditions, Ongoing Drought Conditions and Extended Drought Forecast, all of which increase the potential for wildfires, and the real threat to safety of the citizens of Lubbock County.

The mandatory Burn Ban will eliminate all outdoor burning and place safety restrictions on outdoor hot work (welding, cutting or grinding operations), and the use of combustible materials.

Any person under the current burn band is allows to conduct outdoor Hot Work, if the operations are performed in compliance with the following requirements creating a controlled environment and safeguards on each day when operations are performed:

(A) Areas where welding, cutting or grinding operations or hot works operations are being performed are free of vegetation for at least twenty-five feet in all directions;

(B) Surfaces around welding or hot works area are wetted down;

(C) Each location where welding, cutting or grinding operations or hot works operations are being performed must have cellular telephone communications for emergency response;

(D) Before beginning any operations, the person performing the welding, cutting or grinding operations or hot works operations must notify the local fire department or Emergency Services District which serves the location where the welding, cutting or grinding operations or hot works operations are planned. (Parties will need to contact the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 806 775-1600 for this notification)

(E) A dedicated fire watch person attends each welder, cutter, grinder, or worker performing hot works operations or any activity that causes a spark;

(F) At least one (1) water pressure fire extinguisher per fire watch person is located within 10 feet of the location where welding, cutting or grinding operations or hot works operations are being performed;

(G) No welding, cutting or grinding operations or hot works operations is allowed on days designated as red flag warning days by the National Weather Service;

(H) If all welding, cutting and grinding operations or hot works operations are performed only in a total welding or hot works enclosure, or “welding box” or “hot works box”, that is sufficiently high to control sparks, including a fire retardant cover over the top, the operations must comply with requirements E, F, and G in this list and is encouraged to comply with requirements A-D inclusive, if feasible and appropriate, and;

(I) If all welding, cutting and grinding operations or hot works operations are performed only in sub-surface, or “bell hole”, welding and grinding operations or hot works operations within approved excavations, the operations must comply with requirements E, F, and G in this list and is encouraged to comply with requirements A -D inclusive, if feasible and appropriate.

Outdoor Cooking and /or Barbecuing are allowed in the unincorporated area of Lubbock County, as long as the fire is contained within an enclosed cooking container or a container with a lid.

No open flame cooking fires are allowed under the burn ban, (i.e. campfires). You should also have water nearby in case the fire spreads. Call 9‐1‐1 immediately if a fire gets out of control

Remember a person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally violates a prohibition established by this order. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.00.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS ORDER IS THE MITIGATION THE WILDLAND FIRE THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY DURING THE CURRENT DROUGHT AND SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS, BY CURTAILING THE USE OF COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF LUBBOCK COUNTY, TEXAS.

This Declaration shall take effect immediately from and after its re-issuance, ORDERED THIS 20th DAY OF APRIL, 2018

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