Burn ban reinstated in Milam
“We haven’t had any substantial rain in a long time,” Herbie Vaughan, Rockdale VFD fire chief, said.
“Not only is the vegetation dry but the stock tanks are drying up,” Vaughan said. “It’s not a good situation.”
South Milam County volunteer fire departments have battled 13 grass or brush blazes in the past four weeks, the most recent one at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday near the US 77-US 79 intersection.
Some of those calls were listed by firefighters as out-of-controlled burns.
FIRE CHIEFS— Commissioners acted Monday after a recommendation by the Milam County Fire Chiefs Association.
Henry Horelica, Cameron VFD chief, made the recommendation to commissioners. He pointed out a 150-acre fire near Black Jack two weeks ago was brought under control with the efforts of seven volunteer fire departments.
Milam becomes the 89th Texas county to institute an outdoor burning ban.
“We probably should have put in a burn ban in September or October,” County Judge Frank Summers said.
Earlier this week the Texas Forest Service coded Milam County as “high” for daily fire danger.
The burn ban is for a 90-day period.
FIREWORKS— In addition to banning much outdoor burning, Monday’s commissioner action also prohibits the “discharge of airborne fireworks outfitted with fins or sticks.”
Outdoor trash burning in a screened pit or barrel is still allowed, provided the fire is supervised.
There are also exemptions for agriculture, fire department training and barbecuing.
Summer said persons burning legally are still responsible for damages in any fire they start which damages a neighbor’s property.
If, and when, the burn ban is rescinded it will only involve rural areas of Milam County.
Milam municipalities, including Rockdale, have permanent bans against outdoor burning.
In other business Monday, commissioners:
• Named Precinct 3 Commissioner Dale Jaecks county judge pro tem for 2011.
• Okayed copier agreements for the county auditor, district clerk and Justice of the Peace Precinct 3.
• Called for bids for a used motor grader for Precinct 3, to be opened at the Dec. 27 commissioners meeting.
• Accepted the bid of T. O. Brown, the lone bid for audit service.
• Recognized the Milam County Jail’s compliance certificate.
• Approved the deputation of Zachary Burks for the sheriff’s department.