With Harrison County, TX and Hempstead County, AR officials issuing burn bans, some people may be asking what a burn ban consists of.
A burn ban is exactly what the name implies: no outside burning of any kind until the ban is lifted. Open burning at this time in the ArkLaTex is considered dangerous to people, buildings, trees and underbrush. Violations are serious and could punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.
County and parish officials across the area have the authority to issue burn bans as dry conditions worsen.
A burn ban prohibits anyone in a county or parish from openly burning waste, such as dried leaves or other brush. Officials usually include a ban on burning in barrels. Sparks often escape the barrel and are capable of igniting dry grass or underbrush. Even something as simple as tossing a lit cigarette out the car window can often cause a grass fire.
We all need to be aware of the dry conditions in our area. After a fairly wet August, September 2016 was the sixth driest on record. So far, this October has been extremely dry and the possibility of a soaking rain is very slim in the near future. We will probably see more burn bans in the coming days and weeks.
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