UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
Waco-- The dry weather season is just around the corner. During this time, the city may issue burn bans that are guidelines for the community to follow, in order to prevent wild land fires in the area. The city of Waco has strict rules that must be followed once the burn bans are issued.
The bans restrict outdoor burning for residential and urban areas. Because of the wet season this year, causing extra plant and brush growth, safety officials say it is important that the community abide by these laws for their own safety. Emergency Management Coordinator, Frank Patterson says, "'We want to prevent wild land fires, we want to prevent obviously houses getting impacted or residential areas being impacted by wild fires, so by issuing the burn ban and people comply with that, hopefully we'll minimize that damage and that threat."
If someone is wanting to start a fire on their land, after the burn ban is issued, they must apply for a permit that will allow them to do so, under specific criteria. Jeff Wilhelm, Fire Prevention Specialist in Waco says, "To get a permit, you have to have the right amount of insurance to burn, we have to have a map of the property that's being burned with any of the structures that are on that property, we have to have a plan on extinguishment if the fire happens to get out of control." Mr. Wilhelm also says that in the case a permit is issued, if there are any complaints made by neighbors in the area, the fire must be put out.
Emergency management officials say other ways to prevent wild land fires is through urban interface. This includes cleaning out underbrush, keeping the grass watered and mowed down, and following the burn ban guidelines once the are issued.