Texas A&M Forest Service focuses special attention on reducing unsafe debris burning. Firefighters across the state cite inadequate fire breaks and failure to stay with outdoor fires as the two most common reasons for escaped fires. To help keep the public informed about the risks of outdoor burning, the agency maintains information on its website about wildfire risk and about county burn bans. The Texas A&M Forest Service also actively encourages public compliance with burn bans. The Outdoor Burning Ban legislation is specific on how local entities inact the bans.
A little known fact of which far too few people are aware is that a burning ban doesn’t have to be in effect for outdoor burning to be illegal. Negligently allowing your fire to escape onto someone else’s property is a Class C misdemeanor offense (the same as violation of a burn ban) that is punishable by a fine up to $500. Deliberately setting fire to someone else’s property is arson, which is a felony offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of from 2 years to 99 years in prison. Information on outdoor burning regulations pertaining to the control of air pollution from visible emissions and particulate matter is available from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Wildfires can cause significant environmental and economic damage, not to mention possible loss of life – to the public and to firefighters who strive to protect their communities. You can make a difference. You can help prevent senseless wildfires. Please take time to look at some of the other fire safety information presented on our website and through the links to other websites.