By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (October 13, 2015) — There is a burn ban in effect in Erath County until further notice.
Erath County Commissioners approved the burn ban in their regular monthly meeting Tuesday morning at Erath County Courthouse.
“There are 130 counties in the state currently in a burn ban. Sunday afternoon we spent a pretty good while in Somervell County helping them while 250 acres, three houses and numerous outhouses burned,” said Erath County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Coordinator Chris Brooks. “We’re in the same shape as them.”
Brooks said since the first of the month Erath County has fought 13 grass fires, one as large as 40 acres. He said the county has spent 80 man hours fighting fires already this month.
“If we’re going to burn 80 hours in a week and a half on a new budget, what are we going to do by mid-year? I feel like it’s time to do something,” said Brooks. “I was talking to folks in the community at a social event the other evening and everyone asked when were going to have a burn ban. They’re ready. I’m ready.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner Joe Brown, also a volunteer firefighter, said he, too, is ready. Brown presided over the meeting in the absence of County Judge Tab Thompson.
“We had four (grass fires) last Thursday within three hours and one Friday morning in a fresh cut hay field,” Brown explained. “I believe it’s time we do something. I watched the weather last night and it doesn’t look like we have much chance of rain the next five to seven days.”
Commissioners also approved the following:
- Reappointing Jennifer Carey to the Erath County Appraisal District Board of Directors
- Allowing the county Information Technology (IT) Department to destroy and dispose of two boxes of backup tapes made obsolete by server upgrades
- Rode bore permits for CR 518, known as College Farm Road, and CR 112.
- A contract with Stryker was approved concerning ambulance equipment.