Victoria, Lavaca counties enact burn ban
By BY BRIAN M. CUARON
April 25, 2011 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2011 at 11:25 p.m.
TIPS TO BURN 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.
VICTORIA COUNTY LAND SALE
The Victoria Commissioners Court authorized an official to look into the sale of the land at 622 Schroeder Road.
The land was abandoned by the state and given to the county about a year ago, said Gary Burns, county commissioner for precinct 3.
"It's just a little chunk of land, not really attractive or anything," Burns said. "It's real visible; it's pretty trashy."
He added that he wanted to gain tax revenue from the sale of the property. If the county keeps the land, it must take care of the land that has broken asphalt.
Burns said the land is a little more than an acre and is too small to be used for much. It was appraised at $14,400 and will be listed for $16,000.
Burns is authorized to look for a realtor to sell the land.
Victoria and Lavaca county residents better not open fires anytime soon. Both counties enacted burn bans Monday.
The Victoria ban allows for household garbage to be burned outside city limits in a 55-gallon drum with a screen on top. The screen must have holes no bigger than 5/8 of an inch, and the fire must be watched till it is put out.
Should those burning garbage be found violating the burn ban, they could be slapped with a $600 fine. Victoria County Fire Marshal Ron Pray said he and others will not be lenient in citing violators because this is a public safety issue.
"We're not out trying to write tickets to make money. We're trying to enforce the law," Pray said.
Pray recommended the burn ban to the commissioners court because of drought conditions.
At last week's commissioners court meeting, County Judge Don Pozzi said the court could institute a burn ban if the Keetch-Byram Drought Index got near or above 600. Pray said the index was 604 for Victoria County on Monday.
The last burn ban occurred in 2009. Pray said that significant rainfall is needed and that no rain is projected in the next two weeks.
According to the Texas Forest Service, 211 of the state's 254 counties have enacted burn bans.
"We're not as dry as West Texas, but we're getting there very quickly," Pray said, referencing the large fires in that region.