Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

September 27, 2011

Burn ban ordinance strengthened

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court voted to beef up the burn ban ordinance, eliminating almost all outdoor fires.

The new 14-day ban ordinance replaces the one the county has been operating under for about two months.

The new ordinance may be subject to some fine tuning over the next two weeks, County Judge Richard Sanders said. 

Fire Marshall Darrell Furrh said though the county’s reading on the Keetch-Byrum Drought Index has improved, and the relative humidity is up slightly, extreme fire danger still exists. A fire can spread from a brush or trash-burn, or an outdoor grill, and threaten property and homes.

“A small fire in this county can involve everyone in the county,” Fire Marshal Darrell Furrh said.

The ban makes an exemption for welders, but they must meet several requirements before using their torches. The welding must take place in an area that is free of vegetation for 25 feet in all directions.

A person, other than the welder, must be on duty watching for any fire that might start.

In addition a water supply must be available at the scene.

The Keetch-Byrum reading for the county stood at 714 Tuesday, remaining the category of highest danger on the chart which measures from zero to 800.

Because of higher relative-humidity, the Texas Forest Service listed the Henderson County fire danger for Monday and Tuesday as moderate.

In other action Commissioners approved:

• a preservation and restoration plan for Henderson County Clerk records;

• a preservation and restoration plan for Henderson County District Clerk records;

• acceptance of several roads in the Cherokee Shores subdivision into the County Roads System;

• accepted a donation in the Cherokee Shores Property Owners Association of about $199,000 for the cost of road construction and fuel;

• appointed Sandra Lyles and Jim Stevenson to remain as members to the Emergency Services District No. 1 board; and

• authorized payment of bills in the amount of $232,678.87.

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