Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX


August 5, 2013

reflections - on Fire & Burn Bans

Last year there were some pretty bad fires, too, as there have been this year, and because of that our county commissioners have quite often enforced a burn ban on the county, as other commissioners have in counties all around us. There was a 90-day burn ban put into effect here on July 22.

What does a burn ban mean? It means no one may set outside fires...at all, period, full stop, end!

This doesn’t mean don’t burn great piles of brush, but it’s ok to burn a small, closely watched fire. This means there is a ban on all burning...except as a means of warmth in cold weather. But, say, I do believe most of our temperatures recently have been in the 90s and over 100!  

Some folks just love to sit around a campfire. However, even though I was a Boy Scout leader for years and have camped for decades, I don’t understand the building of fires, even for recreation, in the middle of a hot Texas summer.

But, if you are going to set a “camp fire” in the dry, hot, Texas summer, or any other time for that matter, you need to follow a few simple, but powerful, guidelines.

Here are some of them:

• Build campfires well away from tents or tarps...or houses or wooden fences.

• Construct a fire ring and line it with stones.

• Never leave a fire unattended.

• Keep a bucket of water close by to put out the fire.

• Keep wood and other fuel sources away from the fire.

• Thoroughly extinguish all fires, or as Smoky the Bear would say, “Put the fire out - dead out.”

I think I can safely say that if you are building a fire in your back yard, these rules have to be followed, if, and only if, there is no county-wide burn ban. In that case, you simply may not build a fire!

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