Emergency manager anticipating burn ban for Lubbock County - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Emergency manager anticipating burn ban for Lubbock County

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Warm weather and high winds are a normal part of West Texas life but these dry conditions can cause fires to rage out of control.

"There's a lot more grass and weeds and those type of things that are out there to burn that we haven't had in the last five years or so," said Lubbock County Emergency Management Coordinator Clinton Thetford. "I think the risk is going to be a lot greater this year than it has been in the last several years."

He says one particular area of concern are what they call "wild land-urban interface area" or tall grass and weeds near buildings.

"If that wild land fire gets moving and grows very quickly and with our winds and the dry conditions we have out here it could spread very rapidly," he said. "Fifty or 60 miles per hour and burn into those homes and fences and then we could have some problems."

That's why he wants property owners to act.

"What we encourage citizens to do is build a defensible perimeter around your home and/or your structures whether it be a barn or garage or something like that you have on your property," he said. "Make sure and have all the grass cut down, debris removed, have firewood stacked right against your house - those type of things. It's really trying to educate the community on mitigating those circumstances that might cause a fire."

Thetford expects to a recommend a burn ban for Lubbock County. Right now he says there is no timetable for when the recommendation will be made to the county commissioners.

"It's all subject to if we get any additional moisture in the next few weeks," he said. "We'll make the recommendations to the commissioners at some point for the potential adoption of a burn ban for Lubbock County."

When it comes to barbecuing Thetford would recommend using propane over wood or charcoal but if you are using those to cook your food, have a defensible perimeter just in case anything pops out of the fire - and of course have something ready to put a fire out.

"People need to develop a plan," he said. "If a wild land fire threatens your home and you need to evacuate rapidly how do you do that? What are things that you need to do?"

Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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