City of Fort Worth lifts ban on burning due to drought conditions
UPDATE 10-20-2021: The ban on outdoor burning has been lifted. That said, the Tarrant County Fire Marshal's Office reminds residents to observe the following requirements:
- Burn only in the unincorporated areas of Tarrant County.
- Contact the Tarrant County Fire Alarm Center at 817-232-9800 on the day you plan to burn to register your address and to confirm it is an allowable burn day. The Fire Alarm Center is open 24 hours a day.
- The party responsible outdoor burning must be present and remains liable for damages.
- Begin burning no earlier than one hour after sunrise and end the same day no later than one hour before sunset. No outdoor burning at night is allowed.
- Make sure the smoke does not blow towards a neighbor’s house or towards a road.
- The burn must be downwind and at least 300 feet from structures on adjacent properties.
- Only brush, tree limbs, grass clippings, or leaves. The material must originate on the property where the burning is taking place. No hauling outside items like construction material, heavy oils, or chemical waste.
- If wind speeds are greater than 23 mph, no burning is permitted.
Outdoor burning is officially banned in Tarrant County, as of September 28.
According to a release, the Tarrant County Commissioner's Court approved an Outdoor Burning Ban for Tarrant County, and that means all outdoor burning. The ban will be in place for the next 90 days.
The release says that Texas Forest Service has determined that the unincorporated areas of Tarrant County are under drought conditions. The most recent drought map, drawn on September 21, shows continued expansion and intensification of drought across the state.
The website drought.gov shows a large patch in the southwest corner of Tarrant County, extending into Parker County to the west and Johnson County to the south, as being "abnormally dry."
These conditions are what prompted the Tarrant County Fire Marshal to request the ban.
Surprisingly, you are still allowed to cook outdoors because god forbid anything stand in the way of you and your grilled vittles. The fire marshall website lays down the rules; click the Outdoor Burning icon. It says that gas grills are the safest option, and recommends you keep the flames covered during the operation of your gas grill.
If you simply must use a charcoal- or wood-burning grill or a smoker, these must be placed on a concrete, gravel or dirt surface at least five feet from combustible materials, and you should keep the cover on the grill during use.
For residents in rural areas, they suggest keeping an area of approximately 30 feet mowed around your home, to create a fire wall.
They don't say if they're enforcing it, but a violation is a class C Misdemeanor and with a fine of up to $500.