Drought & Fire Safety: Travis County Burn Ban Reminder

From Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee:

Travis County is currently experiencing an extreme drought.  There is an increased risk of fire during drought or heat wave conditions.  The Travis county Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind citizens about the importance of taking steps each day to prevent fires during these extreme conditions.  The following tips are provided as general guidelines:

  • Never leave barbeque grills unattended.  When barbecuing, place your grill on concrete instead of the grass.  If using charcoal or wood, make sure that the fire has been extinguished by soaking it with a garden hose before disposing of the coals.  Remember that there is currently a burn ban in Travis County and no uncovered flame or pit is allowed.
  • Dispose of cigarette butts in an appropriate container.  Flipping them from the window of your car is never a good idea and can be disastrous in times of drought and high fire risk.
  • Teach children safe fire behaviors and do not allow them access to lighters or matches.
  • Park vehicles so that the exhaust system does not come in contact with dry grass, leaves, or weeds.
  • Notify the electric power company when dead trees or overhanging limbs endanger the electric wires.  The wires may touch each other or the ground causing sparks that start fires.

Remember that less than 10 percent of all wildfires are started by weather, such as lightning!  More than 90 percent are started by careless people and arsonists.

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