County leaders voted unanimously Tuesday morning to uphold a Sept. 9 burn ban in Cherokee County, citing safety factors.
“A burn ban makes people madder than taxes,” Judge Chris Davis told the Cherokee County Commissioners' Court during its regular meeting. “Nobody is happy (about the ban) but it's all about safety … we will absolutely take that off as soon as it is feasible.”
The Sept. 9 burn ban was based on data obtained from the Texas A&M Fire Service, monitored daily for changes. Recent rains have helped saturate the ground in the county, but doesn't necessarily mean it is safe yet to lift the ban, Davis said after issuing the ban.
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Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis issued a burn ban for the county Monday morning.
According to the ban, weather forecasters predict “little promise of a change in the dry conditions in the near future."
There is a slight chance of a thunderstorm Tuesday, but otherwise no rain is in the immediate forecast for Cherokee County, as temperatures remain in the mid-to-late 90s.
Many surrounding counties in Texas have already put burn bans into effect as wildfires have become a cause for concern. A burn ban violation may result in a fine, according to officials.
According to Texas A&M Forest Service, Cherokee County has a moderate risk for fires. The forest services offers these tips to avoid a wildfire:
• Plants should be carefully spaced, low-growing and free of resins, oils and waxes that burn easily. Any plant with aromatic foliage is likely volatile and may ignite easily.
• Mow the lawn regularly. Prune trees six to ten feet up from the ground. Space trees 30 feet between crowns. Trim back limbs that overhang the house.
• Weep holes in the brick that allow condensation to get out can also allow fire from the lawn to get into the wall. During the dormant season, lawns may actually be a source of fine fuel. Keep lawns maintained close to the soil surface during the dormant season at least five feet from the house.
• Create a fire-free area within five feet of the home, using nonflammable landscaping materials or high-moisture-content annuals and perennials. However, when a high intensity fire comes close, even these high moisture plants may become dry enough to burn.
• Remove dead vegetation from under decks and within 10 feet of the house. Consider fire-resistant material for patio furniture, swing sets, etc. Remove firewood stacks and propane tanks—they should not be in this zone.
For information about burn bans and fire prevention, visit https://texashelp.tamu.edu.