Sheriff: deputies are issuing citations for burn ban violations

Despite a steady light rain on Friday morning, Harrison County remains under a burn ban, and Harrison County deputies have responded to numerous burn ban violations.

“If you’re burning a brush pile and we have to come out, a citation can be issued. If it gets out of hand, an investigation through the Fire Marshal’s office will likely ensue, and you will be held responsible for the damage you cause. The burn ban is still in full effect. It is still very dry,” said Sheriff BJ Fletcher.

Thursday, Texas A&M Forest Service and fire resources responded to 11 new requests for assistance on wildfires across the state. Suppression efforts continued on several carryover fires as well. Texas A&M Forest Service and local firefighters have responded to numerous fires across Harrison County during the past few weeks.

“We’ve actually had a couple (of large fires) in the last couple of weeks in Harrison County. We had a 17-acre fire in Hallsville, just outside the City. Then we had a pretty good-sized fire in Uncertain, a woods fire. It took about six or seven hours to contain,” he said.

The fire near Uncertain burned 44 acres, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

“They spread very quickly. The embers go up in the air and go somewhere else and start another fire and just keep growing out of hand. When you walk on your grass, you can feel the crunch, there is just no water in the ground.”

On Thursday, a 500-acre wildfire near Possum Kingdom Lake had burned five homes and five outbuildings. The fire, which caused two minor heat injuries to firefighters, was 45 percent contained. A wildfire that had burned more than 6,400 acres raged on Thursday southwest of Glen Rose, prompting evacuations and the closure of Dinosaur Valley State Park.

“On top of that, these fires get out of hand to the point that they take homes, properties, tree farms and occasionally, a life. It’s just not worth it,” said Fletcher.

“We are very much enforcing the burn ban. I think we have given ample opportunity for everybody to know about it. There are signs throughout the county; we’ve talked about it in several news releases and on the Facebook page. It’s really been put out there now for the better part of a month. Really no excuse on not knowing it was in effect.”

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