Harris County, Texas -- Today, Harris County Commissioner's Court approved a burn ban in Unincorporated Harris County due to extreme temperatures and continuous dry conditions. Harris County joins 168 Texas counties that have already implemented a burn ban, including our neighbors in Galveston, Waller, Chambers, and Liberty County.
“The burn ban is in place to reduce the potential of a devastating wildfire happening in our community,” said Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. " The excessive heat conditions we have been experiencing and lack of rain have elevated KBDI levels and vegetation fuels. The safety of Harris County is in our proactive actions- let's heed the ban, reduce risks, and protect our community."
The burn ban means no outdoor burning is allowed, except in an enclosure that contains all flames and/or sparks; outdoor burning activities authorized by TCEQ; approved ceremonial fires; non-commercial cooking such as backyard cookouts and barbeques are allowed; and welding and other "hot work" performed in accordance with county fire code requirements.
Violation of the ban is a Class "C" misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine. In addition, any person who starts a fire that causes damage to property without the owner's consent may be charged with Reckless Damage or Destruction, a Class C misdemeanor, or arson, a felony.
Preparation is critical when protecting your property and home from the threat of wildfire damage. Here are a few effective actions and precautions you can take to minimize the risk:
- DO NOT burn on “red Flag” or windy days, and think twice before burning outdoors when KBDI approaches 700 or more.
- LPG tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of fire. Keep the area around the tank clear of flammable vegetation.
- Store gasoline in an approved safety can away from occupied buildings.
- All combustibles such as firewood, wooden picnic tables, boats, and stacked lumber should be kept away from structures.
- Clear roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid the build-up of flammable materials such as leaves and other debris.
- Remove branches from trees to a height of 15 feet or more.
- In rural areas, clear a fuel break of at least three times the fuel length around all structures.
- Have fire tools handy such as a ladder long enough to reach your roof, a shovel, a rake, and a bucket or two for water.
- Place connected garden hoses on all sides of your home for emergency use.
- Assure you and your family know all emergency exits from your home.
To contact our office for questions, please email: fmosupport@[email protected]
To submit any fire and life safety complaint or concern, go to: https://www.hcfmo.net/report-hazard
HCFMO Wildfire and Burn Ban: HCFMO - Wildfire & Burn Bans
Burn Ban Overview https://www.hcfmo.net/Portals/15/Documents/burn%20ban/burnbanoverview.pdf
KBDI Texas Weather Connection: TWC | Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) (tamu.edu)
Texas Burn Ban Maps: WILDFIRES AND DISASTERS | TFS (tamu.edu)
Protect your home: Preparing for Wildfires | PROTECT YOUR HOME TFS (tamu.edu)
Comunicado de Prensa
The mission of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is to safeguard the lives and property of the residents in Harris County through effective fire prevention, fire investigation, education, emergency response, and emergency management.