Add the Hunt County Commissioners Court to the growing chorus of officials urging county residents to be especially careful with fire and fireworks during the next few days.

County Judge Joe Bobbitt started Thursday’s meeting of the Commissioners Court by asking the public to help avoid the type of tragedy from grass fires which occurred in Granbury earlier this week and which made national news headlines.

“Myself and the Commissioners Court are pleading to everyone to use extreme caution if they in any way are planning to celebrate New Year’s,” Bobbitt said. “We do not want to go through what Hood County and some counties west of Fort Worth have had to go through.”

Hunt County fire officials have issued repeated warnings this week about the danger of using fireworks during the upcoming weekend, due to the exceptional drought conditions which have left the county the driest it has been in decades.

The county’s volunteer fire departments have been overwhelmed by responding to numerous grass and structure fires which have been caused either by the use of fireworks or by residents defying the six-month old ban on outdoor burning.

The ban outlaws the outdoor burning of trash or other items in any of the unincorporated areas of the county. Violators of the ban can be cited to appear in a Justice of the Peace Court and can be fined for each offense.

The use of all fireworks are prohibited inside the City of Greenville and all of the cities in Hunt County.

They are legal in the unincorporated areas, although Bobbitt again warned of just how dire the situation is.

“We are under a flash fire hazard for the county,” Bobbitt said. “With the events that have happened this week, we all need to be responsible with what we do regarding any type of ignition source.”

Hunt County Sheriff Don Anderson said his deputies will “take any action necessary” to lessen the risk of grass fires in the county during the weekend.

Anyone witnessing an illegal burn or who notices a fire in progress can contact the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office at 903-455-3501 or can call “911”.

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