From Parker County Judge Mark Riley’s office:
Parker County Judge Mark Riley has continued his order of an emergency burn ban in effect for the next seven days, beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 22.
The ban restricts all outdoor burning.
High winds are expected which can lead fires to spread rapidly.
Residents who see a fire or smoke should report it immediately.
The National Weather Service forecasts indicate rain moving into the area on Monday and continuing through the week. Commissioners Court could lift the burn ban at its Monday March 26 regular meeting, if conditions warrant.
Violation of the burn ban is a Class C Misdemeanor and could result in a fine of up to $500 plus court costs. Violations include the use of combustible materials, including outdoor welding; however, where welding must be performed in the field, the following mitigating efforts will be in force until the burn ban has expired:
▪ All areas where welding, cutting or grinding operations are being performed will be free of vegetation for at least twenty five feet in all directions;
▪ Surface around welding area will be watered down;
▪ Wind speeds must be no more than 20 miles per hour while performing welding, cutting or grinding operations outside of barriers or enclosures;
▪ A dedicated fire watch person will attend each welder, cutter, grinder and any activity that causes a spark;
▪ A minimum of one (1) water pressure fire extinguisher per fire watch person is required;
▪ Each site will have cellular telephone communications for emergency response;
▪ All welding, cutting and grinding operations may be performed in a total welding enclosure, or “welding box”, that is sufficiently high to control sparks and includes a fire retardant cover over the top. Winds speeds must not exceed 30 miles per hour while utilizing an enclosure;
i. Where welding (above ground and sub-surface) is required in an area where there is a potential for a hazardous atmosphere, barriers will be substituted for total enclosures (e.g. “wind walls”) to prevent sparks from coming in contact with any combustible material;
ii. The barriers will be installed to allow ventilation of the work area and ingress and egress to the work area for personnel safety;
iii. Sub-surface, or “bell hole”, welding and grinding operations within approved excavations are allowed if all other mitigation efforts are included.