Article Released by Denton County Department of Emergency Services.
August 28, 2013 --- Denton County Commissioners Court yesterday instated a Local Disaster Declaration for Threat of Wildland Fire Due to Dry Conditions in Denton County.
Denton County Judge Mary Horn and the Denton County Department of Emergency Services, in the interest of fire safety and fire prevention, are asking for the cooperation of all Denton County residents with respect to outdoor burning. High winds, low humidity, and dead vegetation have contributed to the risk of large and destructive wildfires. At risk are homes, valuable property, and lives. Denton County has experienced an average of 2 wildfires per day since beginning of August with several burning more than 20 acres. Some fires are the result of careless or negligent outdoor burning, some are the result of discarded burning cigarettes from motor vehicles, and some of the fires are intentionally set.
Denton County is again experiencing dry weather with little chance for relief in the immediate future. The summer vegetation is already dying and starting to become very dry with the lack of rainfall through June and July. The early summer weather conditions did not produced adequate soil moisture and will not support vegetative growth which leaves us with a dangerous amount of wildland fire fuel. The Denton County burning ban will will continue until drought conditions are alleviated.
The mandatory Burn Ban will ban all outdoor burning, include restrictions on outdoor hot work (welding and cutting torch operations), and the use of combustible materials. Violation of the court ordered burn-ban is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00.
County Judge Mary Horn stated, “Prevention of potential wildland fires is essential to the safety of County residents. Wildfires can be devastating and difficult on everyone, especially farmers and ranchers; wildfires can destroy not only lives and property, but livelihood as well. With everyone’s help we can make our communities safer places to live and enjoy life.”
Denton County Emergency Services Chief Jody Gonzalez stated, “Citizens should take measures to protect their home by removing unwanted combustible debris and vegetation away from their homes and be sure to keep water hoses ready accessible in the event a small fire starts. Always call 911 early to notify your fire department of any fire to assure a faster response and that complete extinguishment has occurred.
Anyone with questions, concerns or complaints about outdoor burning should contact the Denton County Department of Emergency Services at 940/349-2840 or 911 for immediate emergencies.