Burn Ban in Effect Across Unincorporated Harris County

Burn Ban in Effect Across Unincorporated Harris County

August 08 2023

Today, Harris County Commissioner's Court approved a burn ban in Unincorporated Harris County due to extreme temperatures and continuous dry conditions. Harris County joins 168 Texas counties that have already implemented a burn ban, including our neighbors in Galveston, Waller, Chambers, and Liberty County.

“The burn ban is in place to reduce the potential of a devastating wildfire happening in our community,” said Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. " The excessive heat conditions we have been experiencing and lack of rain have elevated KBDI levels and vegetation fuels. The safety of Harris County is in our proactive actions- let's heed the ban, reduce risks, and protect our community."

The burn ban means no outdoor burning is allowed, except in an enclosure that contains all flames and/or sparks; outdoor burning activities authorized by TCEQ; approved ceremonial fires; non-commercial cooking such as backyard cookouts and barbeques are allowed; and welding and other "hot work" performed in accordance with county fire code requirements.

Violation of the ban is a Class "C" misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine. In addition, any person who starts a fire that causes damage to property without the owner's consent may be charged with Reckless Damage or Destruction, a Class C misdemeanor, or arson, a felony.

Preparation is critical when protecting your property and home from the threat of wildfire damage. Here are a few effective actions and precautions you can take to minimize the risk:

  • DO NOT burn on “red Flag” or windy days, and think twice before burning outdoors when KBDI approaches 700 or more.
  • LPG tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of fire. Keep the area around the tank clear of flammable vegetation.
  • Store gasoline in an approved safety can away from occupied buildings.
  • All combustibles such as firewood, wooden picnic tables, boats, and stacked lumber should be kept away from structures.
  • Clear roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid the build-up of flammable materials such as leaves and other debris.
  • Remove branches from trees to a height of 15 feet or more.
  • In rural areas, clear a fuel break of at least three times the fuel length around all structures.
  • Have fire tools handy such as a ladder long enough to reach your roof, a shovel, a rake, and a bucket or two for water.
  • Place connected garden hoses on all sides of your home for emergency use.
  • Assure you and your family know all emergency exits from your home.

To contact the Harris County Fire Marshal office for questions, please email fmosupport@fmosupport@hctx.net. To submit any fire and life safety complaint or concern, go to hcfmo.net/report-hazard

Additional Resources

HCFMO Wildfire and Burn Ban

KBDI Texas Weather Connection

Texas Burn Ban Maps

Protect Your Home

Source: HCFMO

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