Breckenridge Texan

County commissioners leave burn ban off; fire chief urges caution with outdoor burning

County commissioners leave burn ban off; fire chief urges caution with outdoor burning
June 10
16:39 2019

Following a discussion with Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney on moisture conditions in the county and the weather forecast, Stephens County commissioners left the burn ban off during their meeting on Monday morning, June 10.

Chaney recommended that the commissioners leave the burn ban off, but he still advised that everyone in the county use caution when burning brush. He said although the ground has lots of moisture and is wet, the high grass from the winter is now dry and dead on top.

“Even though we have ground moisture, that top grass, it will burn no matter how much ground moisture we have,” he said.

Chaney also said the ground moisture also could be a problem for fire trucks responding to wildfires because they risk sinking and getting stuck in mud. “It could put us in a bind in a hurry,” he said.

If somebody does want to burn brush in the county, Chaney said, they need to call the fire department at 254-559-6242 beforehand and let them know there’s going to be burning in that area. Also, he said brush is the only thing that is legal to burn and that burning at night is not allowed.

Despite not having any recent wildfire problems, Chaney said, people need to use extreme caution when burning brush, especially with the drying grass. He said the burn ban will be re-evaluated at the next county commissioner meeting in two weeks and he expects the burn ban will probably be put back on then.

Chaney said firefighters have been kept busy recently with other calls, such as accidents and house fires.
On Saturday, firefighters and Stephens County deputies responded to a one-vehicle accident and fire near the intersection of County Roads 1148 and 1247 near PK Lake. Chaney said the vehicle was completely destroyed by fire, but both occupants escaped without injuries.

On Saturday night, firefighters, Breckenridge police officers and a Sacred Cross EMS crew, responded to a fire that was initially called in as a structure fire on County Road 227 near State Highway 67.

Chaney said the fire turned out be people burning outdoors at night. The fire could be seen from quite a distance in the dark, and callers thought it was a structure fire.

Then on Sunday, Breckenridge firefighters, along with other emergency crews, responded to a two-vehicle accident in front of the Whoa N Go on South Breckenridge Avenue (U.S. Highway 183 South). Two people were transported to Stephens Memorial Hospital from that wreck.

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge firefighter Jeb Baxley relays directions to the operator of the deck gun on top of the fire truck at a fire Saturday night. The deck gun was used to spray water about 120 feet to extinguish flames at a fire on County Road 227. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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