CHEROKEE COUNTY – While a local burn ban has been lifted, Cherokee County leaders are advising residents to use good judgment and caution when deciding to whether or not to burn.
“We lifted the ban at 9 a.m. today, based on the recent rains and improved conditions in our area,” said Judge Chris Davis. “But we still are encouraging people to be very, very careful.”
A Sept. 9 burn ban was based on data obtained from the Texas A&M Fire Service, which monitored daily for changes.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Traylor said that he, Davis and Pct. 2 Commissioner Steven Norton met in special session Friday morning to discuss the ban.
He also urged county residents to use care when deciding to burn, noting the brisk winds friday morning.
“The winds are blowing way too hard to light a fire, so people still need to be careful,” Traylor said.
Jacksonville Fire Department James Suggs reminded local residents that while the county has lifted the ban, the only thing it means in Jacksonville is that “we are just now able to issue permits.
“And no burning is allowed inside the city limits unless a person has purchased a burn permit” through the fire marshal's office, he said. “I can't speak to other cities' code enforcement ordinances, but there are a set of guidelines you have to follow, and I'm certain cities have their own enforcements. Any time you come to our central fire department, saying you'd like to get a burn permit, it's not issued blindly. It requires a visit from our fire marshal, Jeremy Pate.”
The fire marshal takes into consideration weather factors, the burn pile itself and other safety issues before issuing a permit.
Jacksonville residents can only burn during daylight hours, on a property that is a minimum of two acres in size, Suggs said. “When you apply, he would make sure those issues are met.”
Locally, residents can visit Jacksonville Fire Department's central office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to request a burn permit.
Suggs advised residents of other towns within Cherokee County to check with their city officials to see if specific ordinances pertaining to burning are in place.