1. #1
    larry cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Burn bans effective?

    In Texas most every summer and sometimes most of the year, we get dry and drought like conditions. The county commissioners at the recommendation of local fire cheifs put burn bans into effect. If your areas have these burn bans, are they effective? Also if you get a little shower of rain, do people assume that the ban is off and try to burn?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Larry, South Dakota was dry last year and most of the state was under a burn ban part of the year. Here in Gregory Co. the burn ban was ignore by a few people until they started getting billed for the actual cost of putting their fire out. We normally bill their insurance co. for what ever they will pay for a fire call, usually $250-350. When they had to pay for each truck and each firefighter by the hour the burning stopped. The fire chiefs in the county now decide when the ban goes on and when it is lifted. We have been dry so much that until everything greens back up most people are afraid to burn.

  3. #3
    Captain Hickman
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In our state, the State Fire Marshall issues the No-Burning Bans. However, enforcement is somewhat hard to find. In our community, we have found that a good Public Information Blitz works best. If you tell people that they can not burn, they most likely will. It works best for us to educate rather than to demand. Part of the education part informs them that according to state law they or their insurance will be responsible for any damages cause to someone else's property if they fail to control their fire.
    I guess we are sometimes fortunate in our area, because we usually have the citizens themselves start requesting 'Burn Bans' before we in the fire service are ready to issue them. Again were we are located, we usually don't have to go to long without sufficient moisture to drop our fire danger.

    Hope all of you have a Safe Spring and Summer

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Yes and yes. We also had the problem with the sheriff's department's lax enforcement of the ban, often giving people warnings on the first offense. People started thinking they had one chance to get caught. Once deputies starting writing tickets on the first offense, the incident rate for those breaking the ban decreased drastically.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest



    I live in Southeast Texas. Our county commisioners also decide on the burn bans as well. Until last year we had at least 5 calls per day for people burning. Until we put signs out in different places denoting the burn ban, and a copy of the order from the county judge about the $500 fine!

    Also something else we found effectve was the flags offered by the texas forestry service! These are custommade flags denoting the burn ban. Give me a hollar at westlake_23@prodigy.net and I'll help you get some more information on the flags and all.


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Burn bans hardly ever work completely! I know here Brush fires increase during a ban because more people try to get away with it. There is no point in calling the DNR to fine them because they will fine 500.00 plus .23 per firefighter per hour on scene. Thats right, the DNR gets Five Hundred dollars for doing absolutely NOTHING and the firemen get a stinkin' Twenty-Three Cents per hour for doing all the work! Of course the bigger the fire the more the person pays to the state; but that will only add another .23 to our benefit... But we can send a bill to the land owner for any equipment lost, so you must note every poor stream in the indian tanks, and every loose rake head...They'll never burn again after the bills are payed..

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here in New South Wales, Australia, we have a fire danger period starting in October and ending in March. During that time all fires must have permits issued (aside from cooking fires that are within 20 metres of a dwelling and a tap water supply). The permits are issued at brigade and district level depending on the individual district and are assessed before any permission to burn is given. Anyone without a permit is liable for heavy fines. If a fire gets away and is not permitted, then gaol terms are available.
    On top of this we have TOBAN days. These are days of total fire ban (not even cooking fires) and can be implemented at the discretion of the Rural Fire Service Commisioner. Obviously these are days of extreme fire weather conditions and are for individual weather districts.
    In answer to your question "are these bans effective", there are still a lot of dropkicks out there who dont do the right thing. It is inevitable that some wont play to the system, but most people do tend to do the right thing, simply because we have been through so many big fires so often. As for the rain, they think all is off and okay to burn but again, but it comes down to the commissioner easing restrictions based on weather. We have had days where a TOBAN has been called off by 2pm as the weather has not done as expected.
    If nothing else, whether the bans work or not at least we have some good solid laws to back it all up and the cops or local council do so love to assist when we ask them to.


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