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Burn ban hold off is questionable

Texas has a way of fooling you with the weather, so we wonder if the decision to hold off on a burn ban in the county is the wise one.
Certainly, there is an outlook for rain in the week’s forecast, and that factored directly into the decision. It hasn’t been much of a rain yet, however.

On top of that, the decision was also based on the nearness of the Fourth of July holiday, which is big business and fun.

Still, the decision was a legitimate one by the numbers the county is providing — the soil moisture index that is used as a basis for the decision to institute a burn ban shows a median level within the acceptable range for allowing public burning to continue. Individual agencies, however, have been encouraging people in the strongest possible terms to not burn anything because of fears that even a small brush fire can get wildly out of control.

We’d stand by that recommendation for obvious reasons. Ellis County has strong firefighting resources, but a wildfire is no walk in the park.
Commissioners thought long and hard at Monday’s meeting over whether their decision was the best possible one. It shows they understand the ramifications of making the “wrong” decision in this case, where fault will ultimately fall on the person who irresponsibly sets a fire.

The point is their regulation of the burn process can make quite a bit of difference in the scheme of a summer, and they understand that.

There are, of course, a number of ways to make sure you’re exercising the utmost possible care when you start the fireworks this weekend, and we definitely encourage that. Following the instructions of the fireworks manufacturers. Call your local fire department if there’s doubt. Don’t even think about lighting off those fireworks in areas where the grass is brittle and dead over a large area — you’re just asking for trouble.

Remember that while the regulation of a countywide burn ban falls under the jurisdiction of the commissioners court, the common sense that will ultimately save us from a large fire is our responsibility and ours alone.

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Posted by on Jun 30 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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