A burn ban is now in effect for all of Liberty County. The ban was issued on Tuesday, March 9, by Liberty County Judge Jay Knight.
The ban will remain in place until a determination is made by the Texas Forest Service or the County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller that drought conditions no longer exist.
The surface grass seedlings killed by February’s winter storm are a concern, Knight told Bluebonnet News on Tuesday. The freezing temperatures killed the top surface of the grass, leaving behind dry, brown grass that has the potential to help fires spread. For firefighters battling these grassfires, the challenge often is compounded by saturated ground.
The burn ban applies to all unincorporated areas of Liberty County. Any person who commits an offense if they engage in burning any combustible material outside of an enclosure that serves to contain all flames and/or sparks, or orders others to burn items.
Violating the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
The order does not apply to outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized and permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for firefighter training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; or planting and harvesting of agriculture crops.