Smith County warns against outdoor burning

Smith County warns against outdoor burning

While there is no official burn ban in effect in Smith County, authorities are urging people to avoid outdoor burning.

Due to the recent temperature drops and sporadic winds, Smith County Fire Marshal Connie Wasson says the area is at high risk for wildfires.

"One minute we'll have a low wind and then the next minute you'll have wind gust,” says Wasson. “The wind gust is what can carry those fires very quickly and it can get out of control."

Lindale Volunteer Fire Chief, Jerry Garner says lately grass fires have kept the department busy.

"The vegetation is dying so we have a tremendous amount of fuel that can ignite," says Garner.

Wasson says the reason for issuing a warning and not a ban has to do with the drought index. Currently Smith County is at 552, if that number rises to 700, a burn ban will be issued immediately.

"We need a real good slow soaking rain that's going to keep everything wet for a little while," says Wasson.

Until then, she asks that all Smith County residents who need to do any outdoor burning do so with extreme caution.

"Please put a plow line around it, be sure you have a water source available, and don't leave it once you getting it burning,” says Wasson.

Cigarette butts pose a threat, as well.

"Don't throw lit cigarettes out the window into this dry grass,” says Wasson “You may be a mile down the road and don't realize you just set the grass on fire."

If a fire that is intentionally lit spreads across property lines, a citation will be issued.

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