Harris County Keeps Burn Ban in Effect

Yeah, we've had some rain lately, but that doesn't mean the burn ban is going to be lifted. At least not for two weeks.

Harris County was thinking of lifting it, but the proposal was pulled.

"Even though the passage of cold fronts has brought needed rainfall and the number of fires is lower, the amount of dead vegetation and dry air behind each front creates uncertainty about the risk of outdoor fires," county fire marshal Mike Montgomery said. "It is a complex situation. In northern parts of the county, rainfall has dropped the average drought index to levels below traditional burn ban trigger points, but this isn't a normal year and there is a lot of dead vegetation, especially in wooded areas. And, in the southwest part of the county, the drought index remains over the traditional trigger points."

The ban affects outdoor cooking, fires or smoking in county parks. A similar ban is in place in city parks.

Since instituting the ban in April, Harris County has issued more than 150 citations for illegal burning and violations, each of which can bring a citation and up to a $500 fine.

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