Just in time for the freezing weather, the city of Houston has voted to lift the drought-induced ban on smoking and barbecuing in all but a dozen municipal parks.
The bans will remain in effect, though, in two of the city's main parks, Memorial and Hermann.
So grab a parka and some ribs and get a-cookin'!! Better bring some gloves, too.
The recent rains have been enough to ease the fire danger in most of the city's parks, Mayor Annise Parker said.
"This year's drought has been especially devastating to our city," Parker said. "Since the summer, we've been working to remove fire fuel sources in our parks. As a result of this work and the increased rainfall we've been experiencing, the fire risk has declined. However, there is still concern about 12 heavily forested city parks where the dead tree removal has not been completed. Therefore, the temporary ban on grilling and smoking will remain in place for those parks."
Those 12 parks:
Brock Park 8201 John Ralston, 77078
Coolgreen Corridor/Strickland Park 300 Highridge, 77015
Cullen Park 19008 Saums, 77084
Cullinan/Oyster Creek Park Hwy 6 S, Sugarland Airport, 77478
Hermann Park 6001 Fannin, 77030
Herman Brown Park 400 Mercury, 77013
J.S. & L.H. Cullinan Park 6700 Long Drive, 77087
Keith Wiess Park 12300 Aldine, 77093
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Lake Houston Wilderness Park 22031 Baptist Encampment
Memorial Park 6501 Memorial, 77007
Tidwell Park 9720 Spaulding, 77016
West 11th Street Park 2600 W. 11th, 77008