Harris County eases burn ban restrictions

December 20, 2011 5:42:39 PM PST
Harris County commissioners Court have decided on Tuesday to remove all limitations on legal outdoor burning, except large ceremonial fires and the burning of certain domestic waste at night.

Effective Wednesday, residents without regularly scheduled trash pick-up will be allowed to burn "domestic waste" during daylight hours. Small ceremonial or recreational fires are also allowed with Fire Marshal approval.

Regardless of type, outdoor burning must not create a nuisance or traffic hazard.

"Any smoke or odor from a fire cannot be allowed to cause a nuisance to your neighbors," says Harris County Pollution Control Services Director Bob Allen. "Additionally, the smoke may not cross a road and cause a traffic hazard or interfere with normal road use."

However, the burn ban does apply to fires or smoking in county parks, says Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery.

"The final decision to allow cooking or fires in designated areas of a county park is up to each County Commissioner," he said.

The Harris County Fire Marshal"s Office reminds you that if you conduct an outside burn you must:

  • Only burn domestic waste, tree limbs, grass clippings and leaves. No building materials, large brush piles, or other debris.
  • Check the weather forecast. DO NOT burn on "fire weather watch" or "red flag warning" days
  • Stay with the fire at all times while it is burning.
  • Burn only from sun-up to sun-down; no burning is allowed at night.
  • Have water available to extinguish the fire.
  • Consider your neighbors when burning.
  • Be extremely careful.

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