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Fire marshal recommends burn ban

By BY BRIAN CUARON
April 18, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
Updated April 17, 2011 at 11:18 p.m.


TIPS FOR BURNING GARBAGE

Use a 55-gallon drum with a screen on top. The screen must cover the entire top of the barrel and have holes no bigger than 5/8 of an inch.

Clear a 10-foot circumference around the barrel.

Keep the fire away from buildings and other people's property.

Have a nearby means to extinguish the fire.

Watch the fire until it is put out.

TIPS FOR BURNING BRUSH

Put a fire break around the brush pile that is 1.5 times the height of the pile. For example, 10-foot high brush pile will require a 15-foot fire break.

Have sufficient means nearby to put out the fire.

Stay with the fire until it's completely out.

ITEMS YOU CAN'T BURN

Electrical wires

Treated lumber

Plastics

Non-wood construction or demolition material

Heavy oils

Asphaltic materials

Potentially explosive material

Chemical waste

Natural or synthetic rubber

OTHER ACTION

The court was introduced to the new trapper, T.J. Dudenhoeffer.

Victoria County officials could institute a burn ban next week.

Fire Marshal Ron Pray told the Commissioners Court on Monday that the county needed to look into possibly starting a burn ban because of dry grass conditions. The Keetch-Byram Drought Index, which measures soil moisture, was 573 on Monday, which is high for this time of year.

"Usually, late spring and early summer we're in the 200-400 range," Pray said. "That's why it's more of a concern at this point because this is not normal."

County Judge Don Pozzi said the county could institute a burn ban next week if the index gets near or above 600.

Pray said that "unless we get substantial rain" the index should reach 600 by next Monday.

Pray encouraged those needing to burn trash or debris to do so before the burn ban starts, saying that the burn ban may last a while.

"It seems like every day for the past week, or maybe more, you can pick up the paper and there's a fire of some sort," Pozzi said. "It is getting very dangerous."

For information on outdoor burning, call the fire marshal's office 361-579-9103 or call fire dispatch after hours, 361-573-3221.

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