Palo Pinto County commissioners passed a burn ban Monday.
This after trying to do the same at a special meeting April 4.
At Monday’s meeting, County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell said he was still in favor of leaving the burn ban off.
“It’s still green,” he began. “I’ve had zero fires related to wildland. There’s been no complications, no complaints.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Pierce said there is a water shortage in county communities.
“There is consideration of the water,” Harwell commented.
“I make a motion to put it back on,” said Pierce.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Curtis Henderson seconded the motion. The vote to reinstate the burn ban was 4-1, with Precinct 2 Commissioner Louis Ragle the lone dissenting vote.
At the April 4 special meeting, a 2-2 tie vote failed to reinstate the burn ban.
“I’m still in favor of leaving it (the burn ban) off,” Harwell told the four-member court.
He explained that, while there had been several fires, there had been no complaints regarding outdoor burning.
However, Pierce cited low water supplies at communities around the county.
“I make a motion to put it back on because of the limited water supplies,” he said.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Curtis Henderson seconded the motion.
Both Precinct 2 Commissioner Louis Ragle and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jeff Fryer voted no, resulting in the tie, thus the burn ban was not put in place.
County Judge David Nicklas was attending a class in Wichita Falls and was not present for the meeting.
The order prohibits the burning of brush/tree piles when clearing land, trash, yard debris or any other activities not specified as permitted. In addition, the order prohibits the use and launching of sky lanterns and any form of aerial luminaries.
The order does not prohibit outdoor burning activities when used solely for recreational and noncommercial preparation of food or exclusively as a means to provide warmth in cold weather (e.g.: campfires and cooking fires) and outdoor cooking on gas fired or charcoal grills.
Outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Natural Resources Commission for fire-fighting training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; planting or harvesting of agricultural crops; or burns that are conducted by a certified prescribed burn manager are not affected.
A violation is a Class “C” misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.