Advocate editorial board opinion: Protect yourself, your property, others: Don't light fires

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Oct. 24, 2011 at 5:24 a.m.

Here we are, once again. We were given a brief respite, but now it's back to living under a burn ban for Victoria County residents.

A large rainstorm gave the county enough precipitation to lift the burn ban for a few days, but the drought is still going, and so the dryness has required the return of the burn ban.

Because of this and the extreme danger wildfires present, as seen in the Bastrop fires earlier this summer, we encourage our readers to know the rules of the burn ban and not take any unnecessary risks.

The burn ban does not mean absolutely no burning. But it does say any household trash burning must be done inside a metal barrel with a screen on top with no wider than 5/8 inch holes. In addition, the burning must be supervised at all times and some means to control the fire must be readily available.

In fact, Victoria Fire Marshal Ron Pray has made sure that a list of providers for burn barrels and screens has been made available on the county website.

"We put that up as a resource for residents because there's not a yellow-page listing for burn barrels," Pray said.

We encourage residents to err on the side of caution. We understand that county residents outside the city limits don't have trash pickup service, but when it comes to risking lives and property, not just your own, but that of others, it's best to either play by the rules or just load it up and take your trash to the dump.

Pray says there isn't any one cause for grassfires.

"It's kind of a mixed bag," he said. He listed several other causes, including welding or metalwork, parking cars in grass with hot catalytic converters, trailers, untended barbecue grills and even cigarettes. All of these causes can be prevented.

"Pay attention to what's going on and have water available," Pray said.

We second that statement. In a time when something as careless as flicking a cigarette poses a fire hazard, we think Pray has the right idea.

"If you don't have to burn, don't burn."

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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