Hopkins County Under
by: Bobby McDonald
Despite scattered rains across Hopkins County over the weekend, members of the Hopkins County Commissioners Court acted on Monday morning to implement a Burn Ban to go into immediate effect. The order calls for a ban on all outside burning, with the exception of on state highway right-of-ways, by special permission, and limits the use of certain fireworks during the upcoming 4th of July holiday period. More specifically, the ban forbids the detonation of fireworks classified under 49 CFR, part 173.100, further described as "skyrockets with sticks" and "missiles with fins," in any area of Hopkins County.
"What rain we received over the weekend was a very welcomed relief, for those who received it, but some areas received very little or no rainfall," expressed Precinct 4 Commissioner Danny Evans. "We've got to do everything that we can to protect the lives and property of Hopkins County and to make certain that we do everything possible to prevent wildfires going through the county!"
Dry pastures exist all across Hopkins County and pose the potential for wildfires.
The ban was ordered through the use of the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, that allows county commissioners courts to declare the area disaster, when there is imminent danger to the area. And, the dry, parched grasses and foliage that has resulted from drouth conditions in 2005 and again this year, constitutes the threat of wildfires.
"We certainly don't want to throw a 'wet blanket' on anyone's 4th of July celebration, but the use of fireworks that can project into areas where the detonator has no contol is asking for fires and the potential to burn pastures, timber, hay, and even homes and other property," expressed Evans. "It's just too much of a danger to risk, for a little bit of fun!"
The order that was approved on Monday, June 26th, can be extended weekly by the court.