Smith County only under 7-day burn ban

Smith County only under 7-day burn ban

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Effective immediately, outdoor burning is banned in unincorporated parts of Smith County.

Commissioners approved the ban, just this morning, but only for the next seven days.

It was part of an overall "disaster declaration" for the county.

"The last time we were under a burn ban, Layron, was July 17th, 2006. That lasted for 120 days," says Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton.

Seaton says this ban will only last for seven days, unless county commissioners  decide to extend it for up to 30 days.

The ban prohibits fireworks, even discarded cigars or cigarettes.

Some outdoor welding is allowed, but with restrictions, and Fire Marshals must be notified in advance.

Outdoor cooking is allowed, but only on propane or natural gas grills with a fully contained cover.

The goal is to try to keep the wildfire threat as minimal as possible.

Seaton says don't let the green trees fool you...

We asked Fire Marshal Seaton why the ban wasn't issued sooner.

"Budget constraints...movement of manpower and equipment...that's another reason we held out so long," he replied.

Because under a ban, a crew and a peace officer are required to respond to any report of a fire---even false alarms.

Smith County Commissioners are expected to meet next week to decide whether or not the seven-day ban will be extended.

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