ARMSTRONG COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Burn bans are put into place to prevent grass fires, wildfires and to keep the public safe, but Armstrong County officials said even though a burn ban is in place, burns can be allowed if done right.
“Most everybody understands that we’re doing this for safety reasons not because we’re trying to just stop people from doing it,” said Armstrong County Emergency Management Coordinator, Nathan McKee.
Back in April, the Armstrong County Commissioners Court implemented a burn ban which is still in effect to today despite recent heavy rains and moisture.
“Even though we could have a flood one day, three or four days later we could be back in conditions that could support a burn ban,” said Armstrong County Judge, Hugh Reed.
A burn ban is considered after county and city officials review what the current meteorological information is, including current weather conditions, moisture levels, and future forecasts.
To help citizens with necessary burning during a burn ban, county officials have a “practical system” in place that allows citizens to burn if the conditions are right. That system starts with a call to the sheriff’s office.
“We let them know that we’d like to have somebody on site at all times to watch it. If possible we’d like them to have a water source or extinguishers or something so that if something starts to happen they can address it as we’re trying to get there if we have to be called out,” said McKee.
McKee told us the feedback they have gotten back from citizens has been positive.
“We’ve had a really good working relationship with the community in doing this. There’s been a lot of burns underneath the burn bans just because we allowed it under the conditions. So far, we haven’t had anything really negative,” McKee added.
They have these stipulations to keep public safety a priority.
“They understand this is for their safety along with letting them do things that they need to do. We just want to do it in a safe manner,” said McKee.
The current burn ban in Armstrong County is in effect until July 7, but Judge Reed said if conditions allow it, it could be lifted.
For a list of current burn bans, click here.