90 Day Burn Ban In Hidalgo Co.
POSTED: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 5:12pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 9:11am
EDINBURG- Hidalgo County officials issued a burn ban amid the dry conditions and the extremely windy weather. A 25 acre lot that was engulfed by flames last week off Alberta Road in Edinburg. The start of the blaze was a trash fire and the same dry and windy conditions that fueled this fire last week off Alberta road remains the same Tuesday, triggering officials to issue a 90 day burn ban.
"We're really dry and we're really windy and forecasters don't see any relief in sight so we're looking at bad weather ahead and very bad weather so we want to make sure we take as many precautions as possible to make sure that the citizens of hidalgo county and their property remain safe as possible," said Juan Martinez, Fire Marshall.
According to Martinez says the burn ban is restricted which means outdoor burning is allowed if you have a permit and follow the certain criteria.
"People who are going to be allowed to burn on days we deem is a good day to burn, you'll have to be burning inside a container. like a masonry container or some type of metal container," said Martinez.
Burning trash in the ground is not allowed and people who that do could face a Class C Misdemeanor and pay a fee of $500 and depending of the severity of a burn people could also face jail time.
"It becomes a big problem when you have personnel who continue to burn in the county with out a burn permit what happens is one, they don't get the education from the fire marshals office on how to burn correctly and two what happens is we have a lot of fires that ends up spreading in the neighbors' house because they've gone inside and left it unattended," said Martinez.
Fire officials said days when a "fire watch" or a "red flag warning" is in effect, burn permits may not be issued.
If you have any questions or would like to apply for a permit you can call the Hidalgo County Fire Marshal's Office at 956-318-2656, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.