County commissioners have decided to extend the burn ban for an additional 90 days. The Lubbock County Emergency Operations Center made the recommendation. The current drought can be credited for the continuation of the ban.
Open flames of any kind are completely banned - that includes pit fires, bonfires and trash fires. Clinton Thetford of the Lubbock E.O.C. made the recommendation Monday morning, saying the current weather conditions are perfect for devastating fires. Thetford said vegetation in the area is so dry it just takes a spark to start a fire.
"We recommend everyone be extremely cautious right now. Even if we weren't in a drought, fires can always start," Thetford said.
Summer grilling is the issue most people are concerned about, however, you only need to be concerned if your grill doesn't have a lid. If it does, you can grill to your heart's content.
Ray Bonner is the owner of Outdoor Chef in Lubbock. He believes ban is necessary.
"Where it used to take a match, now it just takes a spark. When you get a grass fire going, the way our wind blows, it covers a lot of territory in no time," Bonner said.
Bonner hopes people realize that they can still fire up their grills. As long as your grill has a lid, the ban won't affect you. However, he says there are still precautions you need to take.
"You need to have an extinguisher or a water hose turned on and ready to go in case something starts… You don't want to lose your house and you don't want your kids to get burned," Bonner said.
Thetford said rain is expected at the end of April and throughout May. If the skies really do open up, county commissioners will consider retracting the burn ban.
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