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Two weeks after the large fire that ignited just south of Granjeno, the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court issued a burn ban effective until the end of November.
The burn ban also comes after a summer of scorching heat and little rain.
The majority of South Texas has been experiencing a moderate drought while the west side of the Rio Grande Valley has been suffering from severe drought, according to the National Weather Service’s at Brownsville.
On Wednesday, Hidalgo County announced the restriction of outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of the county, including incorporated cities that don’t have fire suppression resources.
The only exception is household trash burning, though only with a valid burn permit issued at the discretion of the County Fire Marshal’s Office.
One can obtain burn permits Monday through Friday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
“The burning of trash should be conducted within a recommended container with a lid and be supervised by a responsible party from ignition until extinguished,” Hidalgo County Fire Marshal Homero Garza said in a press release. “On days when a ‘fire watch’ or ‘red-flag warning’ weather advisory is issued by the National Weather Service, burn permits may not be issued.”
The outdoor burn ban doesn’t prohibit burning activities related to public health and safety authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality such as firefighter training, public utility, mining operations and planting or harvesting of agricultural crops.
The burn ban can be revoked at any time if conditions improve.
Violating the burn ban is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.
For more information, call the Hidalgo County Fire Marshal’s Office at (956) 318-2656 for additional questions.