UPDATE: Potter, Randall Counties end burn bans

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UPDATE: Announced this morning, May 19, Judge Tanner has rescinded the Potter County burn ban “effective immediately.”

RANDALL COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Made official yesterday, May 17, the Randall County Commissioner’s Court ended its county-wide burn ban order. The County will now allow the burning of household trash and certain other items.

“While some residents look at this as an opportunity to burn anything that might have collected on their property, this is far from correct.” said a statement from the Randall County Fire Department, “By state laws and TCEQ standards, only certain items can legally be burned and the timing of those burns must be monitored.”

The full list of items that can be legally burned, according to the County:

  • Domestic waste. Domestic waste—in other words, household trash or rubbish—may be burned when the local governmental organization with jurisdiction over such matters does not collect trash and does not authorize a business or other service to do so. To qualify for this exception, the waste must come from a property that is designed to be a private residence and used exclusively as a private residence for no more than three families. The waste must also be burned on the property where it was produced. According to TCEQ rules [30 TAC 101.1(26)], domestic wastes include wastes that normally result from the function of life within a residence—for example, kitchen garbage, untreated lumber, cardboard boxes, packaging, clothing, grass, leaves, and branch trimmings.
    • Such items as tires, construction debris, furniture, carpet, electrical wire, and appliances are not considered to be domestic waste and cannot be burned. Other conditions of the general requirements for outdoor burning do not apply to the burning of domestic waste, but the outdoor burn must not cause a nuisance or traffic hazard.
  • On-site burning of waste plant growth. Trees, bush, grass, leaves, branch trimmings, or other plant growth may be burned on the property on which the material grew in most attainment counties, as described below. In all cases, the plant growth must be burned by the property owner or any other person authorized by the owner.

Procedures for outdoor burning, according to the RCFD:

  • Keep fires downwind of, or at least 300 feet away from, any neighboring structure that contains sensitive receptors. This requirement may be waived only with the prior written approval of whoever owns or rents the adjacent property and either resides or conducts business there.
  • Begin burning no earlier than one hour after sunrise. Cease burning the same day no later than one hour before sunset, and make sure that a responsible party is present while the burn is active and the fire is progressing. At the end of the burn, extinguish isolated residual fires or smoldering objects if the smoke they produce can be a nuisance or a traffic hazard. Do not start burning unless weather conditions are such that the smoke will dissipate (winds of at least 6 miles per hour; no temperature inversions) while still allowing the fire to be contained and controlled (winds no faster than 23 miles per hour).
  • Do not burn any tires, electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wooden construction or demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, or items that contain natural or synthetic rubber.
  • Prior to burning, property owners must contact the Randall County Sheriff’s Office at 806-468-5800 and the Randall County Fire Department at 806-477-1750 (Mon.-Fri. 8-5) and give their exact location (street address), contact information with good call-back phone number, what is going to be burned and start and estimated completion time.

If you have questions about the items you are wanting to burn, or would like for your burn area to be inspected before burning, contact the Randall County Fire Department.


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