Fire danger growing in Texas counties

Channel 6 news reporter Andrew Moore reports.

With high temperatures and little rain, losing property to a wildfire has become more likely. Many Central Texas counties are passing burn bans to prevent any wildfire damages. 

Bell County started a one month burn ban on Monday, but a brush fire still threatened several homes in Morgan's Point Thursday.

Bell County Fire Marshall Steve Casey said brush fires are a state-wide issue.

"Falls, Coryell, Williamson counties are about the same," Casey said. "Williamson and Travis County already have their burn bans on."

Coryell County told Channel 6 its burn ban will begin as early as Monday morning. 

Coryell's burn ban will last three months in efforts to help conserve resources. 

In the past month, The Gatesville Fire Department, which is staffed by mostly volunteers, put out 21 fires. Lately, fires the department has responded to were created by people burning brush. The embers float to another field, and start a wildfire. 

Sometimes the fire department responds to a false alarm, but regardless it's a drain on resources. 

"We're all volunteers, it takes people away from their job and of course no fire lasts less than an hour," Gatesville Fire Chief Billy Vaden said. 

There are some exceptions to the burn ban, however. Anyone who does not have a trash pickup service can still burn trash on their property.

The guidelines for burning trash are: Trash must be in a barrel with a small opening for smoke, and it can must have a screen on it. 

Residents may also still weld, but must do so with a spotter. 

With the new burn ban in place, Vaden said he hopes the volunteer fire fighters will now get to stay at home with loved ones instead of responding to brush fires. 

"It takes people away from the families, just everything, and we're having... right now we average about three a day," Vaden said. 

Until Central Texas receives some rain, the number of burn bans may continue to be renewed.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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