The local pattern of 100-plus degree weather and lack of rainfall has created the potential for wildfires, leading local officials to take action. The Tarrant County Fire Marshal recently requested the court consider a ban on outdoor burning in order to protect the lives and properties of the residents.
“We urge all residents of Tarrant County to help us during this time,” the news release said. “For our residents in the rural areas, we suggest that you make sure that you keep an area of approximately 30 feet mowed around your home and outbuildings to prevent a fire from reaching your structures.”
Violating this ban is considered a Class C Misdemeanor, and offenders could face fines of up to $500.00.
Guidelines are also in place for outdoor cooking and welding during the ban.
When cooking outdoors, gas grills are the safest option, according to Tarrant County. But if residents are ti use smokers or charcoal and wood-burning grills, they must place them on a concrete, gravel or dirt surface at least 5 feet away from any combustible materials. A bucket of water or a hose should be kept nearby in case of emergencies.
Welders must work in areas free of vegetation, spanning 25 feet in all directions. Surface around the welding area must be be wetted down. A dedicated fire watch person must be present for welding activities that cause sparks, and he or she must have at least one water pressure fire extinguisher.
Outdoor welding, cutting or grinding operations may not be conducted if wind speeds are recorded at more than 15 miles per hour, according to county guidelines. Each work site must also have a phone ready to call quickly for emergency response. Requirements are also in place for working in an outdoor enclosure or “welding box.”
More information is available here. Residents can also call 817-838-4660 for the Tarrant County Fire Marshal’s Office.
If the region receives a sufficient amount of rainfall during a burn ban, it may be lifted at the request of the Tarrant County Fire Marshal’s Office.