The Smith County Commissioners Court has voted to lift the county-wide burn ban, effective immediately, but urges citizens to exercise extreme caution and diligent supervision in their burning activities.
Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton recommended to the court that the ban be lifted, with the stipulation that the County Judge can reinstate the burn ban if drought conditions revert.
As of Tuesday, the drought index in Smith County had fallen to 616 on the Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI), with expectations that it would continue to fall with approaching rains. High winds remain a source for concern.
“We are glad to lift the ban, but people will have to exercise precautions,” Commissioner Terry Phillips said.
Even when there is no burn ban in effect, it is illegal to burn when winds reach 23 miles per hour or above. The Fire Marshal’s Office strongly advises against burning when winds are in excess of 15 mph. Seaton stressed that citations for reckless damage will be issued for fires that cross property lines.
Under state law burning must take place during daylight hours and certain items may never be burned on private property including: tires, electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, heavy oils, non-wood construction/demolition materials, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, and items containing natural or synthetic rubber.