Williamson County issues burn ban Jan. 23

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In the wake of multiple fires in the past few weeks, Williamson County Commissioners voted Tuesday morning to issue a burn ban.

Under a burn ban, the burning of household yard waste, such as leaves, grass, brush and other yard trimmings, is prohibited. Burning to clear land of trees, stumps, shrubbery and other natural vegetation is also prohibited. Anything burned within Williamson County limits must be contained inside an enclosure.

Because of the freezes in recent weeks, fire has been spreading more easily among the dead grasses in the county, Emergency Management Coordinator Jarred Thomas said.

“It’s not about moisture at this point,” he said. “We’ve had such a hard freeze there’s really been no recovery period, and even some of the annual grasses I don’t see coming up like normally. Right now, it’s about the dead grass and the rapid rate of spread of fire.”

Thomas has even seen “a significant amount” of controlled burns get out of control, he said.

According to county documents, the burn ban will only last for up to 90 days. County Judge Dan Gattis is authorized to lift the ban when conditions improve. Violating the burn ban is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

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