Hunt County is no longer under a ban on outdoor burning.
But Hunt County Director of Homeland Security Richard Hill urged county residents to take precautions when conducting any controlled burns, as the county remains under a significant drought.
The Hunt County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday morning to lift the ban, which had been in place for two months and was designed to help reduce the danger of grass fires associated with lingering drought conditions.
David Alexander with the Hunt County Fire Marshal’s Office told the commissioners that as of Tuesday morning the county’s average reading under the Keetch-Byram Drought Index was between 500 and 600.
“That means it is still in the drought, but it is not in the severe and it is not in the extreme,” Alexander said, adding the Texas A&M Forest Service listed Hunt County under a low fire danger Tuesday.
Hill cautioned certain precautions should be considered, as most if not all cities have ordinances that prohibit outdoor burning within their city limits.
Hill said outdoor burning is acceptable for domestic waste for a private residence.
Domestic waste is defined as wastes normally resulting from the function of life within a residence that can be burned and includes such things as kitchen garbage, untreated lumber, cardboard boxes, packaging (including plastics and rubber), clothing, grass, leaves, and branch trimmings.
Examples of wastes not considered domestic waste that cannot be burned include such things as tires, non-wood construction debris, furniture, carpet, electrical wire, and appliances.
It is acceptable for the on-site burning of trees, brush, grass, leaves, branch trimmings, or other plant growth, by the owner of the property or any other person authorized by the owner, and when the material is generated only from that property.
Burning shall be commenced and conducted only when wind direction and other meteorological conditions are such that smoke and other pollutants will not cause adverse effects to any public road, landing strip, navigable water, or off-site structure containing sensitive receptor.
The initiation of burning shall commence no earlier than one hour after sunrise. Burning shall be completed on the same day not later than one hour before sunset, and shall be attended by a responsible party at all times during the active burn.
Burning shall not be commenced when surface wind speed is predicted to be less than six miles per hour or greater than 23 mph during the burn period.
Electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wood construction/demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, asbestos and items containing natural or synthetic rubber must not be burned.
Hill cautions people to be smart when burning.
“Have a means to extinguish the fire and don’t start a fire so large that it is impossible for the person to control,” Hill said.
Anyone with questions can call Hill’s office at 903-408-4246.