Bastrop County adds name to list of state burn bans - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Bastrop County adds name to list of state burn bans

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2011 was a rough year for Bastrop County -- wildfires destroying homes, land, and taking the lives of two people.

Terry Fletcher's home burnt down that Labor Day weekend and now he's hoping people will be careful and won't repeat the past.

"Right now the people that are burning brush are crazy as hell.  They shouldn't do it because we lost 1,700 homes in this county," Fletcher said.

Friday morning, Mike Fisher with the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management recommended the judge instate a burn ban because this summer's drought is just not looking good.

"Very dry...particularly the fine fuels, we call fine fuels, the grass and weeds.  And especially along the roadways.  The heavier fuel, the trees, are not quite as dry but it's just certainly a matter of time," Fisher said.

Fisher announced the move on the Emergency Management Facebook page.  Most people overwhelmingly supported the decision, but there was some backlash.

"Everybody gets frustrated at some point.  Clearly my friends and neighbors in Bastrop County including myself and my family still have memories of that awful September of 2011 and that invokes a lot of different emotion in different people," Fisher said.

Fisher says the ban is on open burning.  It's still ok to burn in containers that keep the flames in like barbecue pits.

Welding operations are also ok and so are fireworks.

"We urge people if they're gonna do that, be extraordinarily careful.  Follow the recommendations that the fireworks industry and our website puts out," Fisher said.

Ellee Johnson is a downtown business owner.  Despite having to evacuate in 2011, her family's home didn't burn down.

"There's a lot of people here locally that are still suffering from that fire.  Just the devastation of it, trying to rebuild, trying to get their lives back together," Johnson said.

Johnson is all for the burn ban.  Even if their trash pile will start getting bigger.

"It just has to pile up!  It'll just pile up but we will wait," Johnson said.

Fisher says the burn ban order lasts 7 days but he expects it will be extended until late August or so.

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