Denton County Judge Mary Horn issued a mandatory burn ban Tuesday morning.
Horn instated a Local Disaster Declaration for Threat of Wildland Fires Due to Dry Conditions in Denton County effective Tuesday, according to a news release. In the interest of fire safety and fire prevention, Horn is asking for the cooperation of all Denton County residents with respect to outdoor burning.
“Prevention of potential wildland fires is essential to the safety of County residents,” Horn said. “Wildfires can be devastating and difficult on everyone, especially farmers and ranchers; wildfires can destroy not only lives and property, but livelihood as well. With everyone’s help we can make our communities a safer place to live and enjoy life.”
High winds, low humidity, and dead/dormant vegetation have contributed to the risk of large and destructive wildfires that could threaten homes, valuable property and lives, the news release said. Denton County has experienced an increase in wildfires this season with several burning multiple acres. Some fires are the result of careless or negligent outdoor burning, some are the result of discarded burning materials or cigarettes and other fires have been started by mechanical malfunctions and welding.
Denton County is experiencing dry weather with little chance for relief in the immediate future, according to the county. Denton County is currently classified in moderate drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Map and has seen a significant increase in frequency of wildfires. The Denton County burning ban will continue until drought conditions are alleviated.
The mandatory burn ban will eliminate all outdoor burning, include restrictions on outdoor hot work (welding and cutting torch operations), and the use of combustible materials. Violation of the County Judge Executive ordered burn ban is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
“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 ready accessible in the event a small fire starts,” said Denton County Emergency Services Chief Jody Gonzalez. “Always call 911 early to notify your fire department of any fire to assure a faster response and that complete extinguishment has occurred.”