Tarrant County Commissioners approved a 90-day burn ban on Tuesday.
All outdoor burning activity in Tarrant County is prohibited for the next 90 days, said Randy Renois, Tarrant County fire marshal.
Tarrant County is under imminent threat of severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from the threat of wildfires due to the dry grass conditions and gusty winds that occur during the winter season, a news release from Tarrant County said.
“Since the week of Christmas we've had about 20 grass fires,” Renois said. “Some of them were small but about three were pretty large. When you get the hard freezes you get dead, dry vegetation. Then when you get these fronts where you have 30 mph wind gust, if someone does a burn and it gets away from them you can have a big problem.”
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Rural residents are encouraged to keep an area of about 30 feet mowed around their residences and out buildings to prevent a fire from reaching your structures, the release said. A violation of the burn ban can be punished by a fine of up to $500.
Tuesday’s temperatures reached 79 degrees at D/FW Airport, tying the record for Jan. 10 from 1995.
Rain is in the forecast for later this week but it will not help matters, Renois said.
“The rain saturates the ground but the vegetation is still dead and wet,” Renois said. “It dries out in a couple of days and then we’re right back where we started. All the rain does is get brush trucks stuck in the mud when people are casing a wildfire.”
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Guidelines for those planning on cooking or welding outdoors are listed here.