Denton County Judge Mary Horn instituted a countywide Burn Ban this week due to drought conditions and the increased potential for uncontrolled wildfires.
Denton County’s rainfall is 22 inches below normal for the last 15 months and no rain is in the forecast to alleviate the dry conditions.
The frequency of grass fires in Denton County has increased to an average of three per day, according to Denton County Pct. 4 Commissioner Andy Eads.
All outdoor burning, including restrictions on outdoor hot work– welding, grinding and cutting torch operations– and the use of combustible materials is prohibited under the ban.
Violation of the burn-ban is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
Charcoal or gas patio grills and smokers are allowed provided they have a complete and fully enclosed lid utilized at all times and that the area 5 feet around them is clear of vegetation and combustibles.
“Citizens should take measures to protect their home by removing unwanted combustible debris and vegetation away from their homes and be sure to keep water hoses readily accessible in the event a small fire starts,” said Denton County Fire Marshal, Chief Jody Gonzalez.
Residents with questions about outdoor burning or the burn ban should contact the Denton County Department of Emergency Services at 940-349-2840 or 911 for immediate emergencies.