Burn ban lifted after months of dry weather in Jim Wells County

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

Every situation has a bright side and after days of heavy rain this week, ranchers can finally start getting back to tending to their land.

Jim Wells County (JWC) commissioner's court will lift the burn ban effective on Friday, May 22. Starting Friday, landowners can finally start cleaning up their brush and limbs after a drought that has lasted over 10 months. 

"South Texas and JWC have finally moved into a very wet weather pattern over the last several weeks," said Meteorologist Juan Acuna. "The 14-Day rainfall totals provided by the National Weather Service indicate that JWC received an average of 5-10 inches of accumulated rainfall."

"This is an important process for ranchers. The fire department encourages residents to use caution when burning. Many of the landowners in this area know what they are doing in this respect, but someone who has never burned brush needs to follow safety guidelines," said Alice Fire Chief Patrick Thomas. 

Safety tips: 

  • Make piles small and manageable that you're going to burn. 
  • Put the piles within a reachable distance from water. In other words, try to put them where you can get to them with your water hose and water around them and be able to cool them down. 
  • Location, location, location as far as, not close to a structure, not under a power line, not near a field full of dead grass. 
  • If you walk outside, and the wind is blowing hard enough to move limbs or blow leaves around, then it's not going to be a good day to burn. The very best weather to burn in is zero wind. Granted it's hard to find that. But, if you walk outside and it's hot and dry and it's 25 mph wind, don't start a fire.