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Judge issues countywide outdoor burn ban

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By Chris Edwards
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TYLER COUNTY – Tyler County is one of several counties in the region that has enacted a burn ban and declaration of disaster due to the dry weather and lack of rainfall.

The ban was issued on Friday, July 21 and ratified on Tuesday morning in a special meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court. The order, issued by Tyler County Judge Milton Powers, is good for seven days from its date of declaration, unless continued or renewed by the commissioners.

The burn ban, when implemented by a county judge or by the Commissioners Court prohibits or restricts outdoor burning for the purpose of public safety.

The judge’s disaster declaration, as issued, notes that the drought conditions have presented an imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life.

According to the wording of the order, the declaration of local disaster activates the county’s Emergency Management Plan. What falls under the burn ban is the burning of outdoor trash, brush, trees, storm debris, construction materials and open campfires, but does not affect barbecuing or grilling.

Violators of the countywide burn restriction could face a fine, if caught, as it is a Class C misdemeanor.

Neighboring counties of Polk; Jasper; Hardin and Angelina also enacted burn bans last week, and many other counties and municipalities in the region have enacted orders to curb outside burning..

According to the USDA Forest Service, the extreme temperatures that continue to affect the region have created an “extremely high” potential for wildfires.

“In Texas, local governments are empowered to take action on behalf of those they serve,” a Forest Service news release stated.


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