Weatherford Democrat

Local News

July 24, 2012

County-wide burn ban back in place

WEATHERFORD —  

Acting on the recommendation of Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott, Parker County commissioners approved a county-wide burn ban, 3-2, during a regular session Monday. 

Judge Mark Riley and commissioners George Conley and Craig Peacock voted in favor of the ban. Commissioners John Roth and Dusty Renfro voted against.

The ban, which prohibits all outdoor burning — with conditional exceptions for professional welders — is in place for 30 days. It will expire at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 22 unless it is renewed or withdrawn by the court.

Scott said the county has begun to dry out quickly in the last few weeks, based on values from the Keetch-Byram Drought Index. The index showed an average reading for the county of 615 Sunday, he said, compared with a 300 to 350 range earlier in the summer.

In a written update presented to the court, Scott said the dry areas were chiefly in Precinct 2, with the most moisture in Precinct 4. 

“The number of grass fires in Parker County has begun to increase in the last couple weeks,” Scott said. “Fire behavior has become more aggressive during the same time frame.

“While we have had rainfall during the month of July, evaporation of that moisture has occurred very quickly.”

There was no discussion of the issue prior to the vote.

Renfro, who voted against the burn ban, said later that he did so because it is a private property rights issue. Such bans should be limited to extreme conditions, he said, like the lengthy drought the county suffered last year. 

“It’s almost like the court is telling the private citizen that they’re smarter than they are,” Renfro said. “I have faith in the average citizen.”

Renfro said the fire marshal tends to be conservative when it comes to recommending the burn ban.

“As I’m driving through Precinct 4 right now, the grass is green, and it looks lush,” he said. “I’m going to go with what I hear from the people in my precinct. There have been a lot of conversations where people say the government shouldn’t be telling them what they can do on private property.”

If an individual, unrestrained by law, chooses to start a fire and that fire gets out of control, Renfro said, it is the responsibility of that individual to make reparation for the damages.

Violation of the burn ban is a Class C Misdemeanor and could result in a fine of up to $500 plus court costs.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pair charged with assaulting kids

    Two Weatherford teens were arrested last week on charges of chasing down two bicycle-riding children in a car and assaulting them in a church parking lot, where the encounter was recorded.

    April 17, 2014

  • easter basket.jpg Easter egg hunt times, locations

    Following is information provided to the WD on four local Easter egg hunts and celebrations planned for Friday and Saturday:

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2014 ACSI High School District Art Show Winners.jpg Weatherford Christian announces ACSI Art Show winners

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Larue, Jeffrey.jpg Wanted sex offender found in Weatherford

    A sex offender reportedly sought by Hood County authorities after failing to register as required was found in a Weatherford hotel last week, police say, after exposing himself to an employee.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 loc WC choir.jpg WC choir presents the works of Eric Whitacre

     The Weatherford College Choir will showcase the music of composer Eric Whitacre on Tuesday, April 29. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Alkek Fine Arts Center. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show is free.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greenwood Horse Trials to begin May 2

    The annual Greenwood Farm, Inc. International Horse Trials kick off Friday, May 2.

     

    April 16, 2014

  • Bob Tallman Speaking at Chapel.jpg Tallman speaks at WCS chapel

    World renowned Rodeo Announcer Bob Tallman, better known as the “Voice of Professional Rodeo,” stopped by Weatherford Christian School’s elementary campus april 10 to speak to over 150 students in grades Pre-K through 6th at their bi-weekly chapel. 

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hitting the trail for MS

    STEPHENVILLE – The Cowboy Capital MS Trail Ride is a fun-filled event dedicated to raising funds that support national research into the cause and cure for Multiple Sclerosis as well as provide programs to more than 9,000 people in the Lone Star Chapter area whose lives are touched by MS.

    April 16, 2014

  • 0416 loc WISD new HR director.jpg Chapman named WISD’s new Human Resources director

    Members of the Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees last week approved Monty Chapman as the district’s new executive director of Human Resources.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Accidental shooting reported

    Parker County deputies say a shooting that injured a man in the 8500 block of FM Road 1886 shortly after 5 p.m. Friday was reported to be accidental. 

    April 15, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing