By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Lubbock's County Commissioners are considering putting Lubbock county under a burn ban within the next two weeks. 82 counties in Texas are already under a burn ban including Garza, Hockley, Cochran and Terry counties that surround Lubbock. Whether or not Lubbock will enter a burn ban is up to the County Commissioners, and they're already discussing putting it on the agenda for December 27th. "It's getting really close. From the fire departments and the sources we have, it's really close," said County Commissioner Mark Heinrich.
The last time Lubbock was under a ban was in 2008, but with no rain in sight Heinrich said they're keeping a close eye on the dry conditions. "We get input from all the volunteer fire departments. They're looking at it also, so it's a collaborative effort of all of us," he said. "How many fire calls they make on a daily basis, and whether they're burning trash or a lot of the medians is catching fire due to cigarettes being thrown out."
Currently people inside Lubbock's city limits have to purchase a pricey permit every time they want to burn; people out in the county however don't need one. If Lubbock goes under a ban, it's virtually impossible to get a permit to burn in the city and it puts a stop to all burning out in the county.
If you're caught burning without a permit or anywhere during a ban you can be fined up to $1,000. As for fireworks to ring in the New Year the ban wouldn't apply and Heinrich says it's unlikely the commissioners will restrict fireworks. If they did want to restrict them, the commissioners would have to do so by Tuesday.
Although there is not a burn ban yet, the commissioners want to remind everyone that burning while winds are high can easily cause a small fire to get out of control.
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