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County commissioners considering 30-day burn ban

Dry conditions and high winds have put Lubbock County at high risk for wildfires right now.
Dry conditions and high winds have put Lubbock County at high risk for wildfires right now.(KCBD Video)
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:59 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Dry conditions and high winds have put Lubbock County at high risk for wildfires right now.

County commissioners will meet Monday to vote on a 30-day burn ban for the entire county. They say implementing the ban could save hundreds of acres of land from going up in flames.

The county’s drought status has gotten worse over the past month, with more than half of the area in severe drought.

County Commissioner Jason Corley says those conditions have dried up much of the county’s foliage. That means there is more fuel on the ground, putting the county at higher risk of wildfires.

“2021 was a great year for rainfall,” Corley said. “Farmers brought in a really good crop, but when you get all that rainfall, you get a lot of growth. Now that it’s all dried out, you’ve got a lot of fuel for a large fire.”

If those dead trees and grass ignite, it could lead to big problems fast.

“When your get out in some of the parts of Lubbock County, some of these canyon areas where you have ranch land and grass land, a small fire can become a big concern in a hurry,” Corley said

Already this year, more than 2,000 acres of land have burned in wildfires across Texas.

Putting a burn ban in place is a deterrent that could prevent fires in our county, but education and increased awareness is the best tool to keep the county safe.

“Burn bans are as affective as speed limit signs,” Corley said. “They let people know about the dangers that are going to be presented to them, but at the end of the day, it comes down to people being responsible. We just want people to understand the danger and just be cautious if you’re out in some of the rural parts of our county. A small spark can turn into a very large fire in a hurry.”

Corley says those sparks can come from many different places. Throwing cigarette butts out of cars is always a concern. Fires can also be caused by chains dragging behind vehicles or even hot mufflers touching dry grass.

Avoiding those hazards will protect the county from wildfires.

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