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Keeping La Reata Ranch Safe

Friends and Neighbors, several neighbors have noticed folks burning in La Reata Ranch that are not following the Texas Rules for Outdoor Burning.

Please be aware that the State of Texas has very strict rules on what you can burn, when you can burn, and how you burn. Bastrop County Emergency Services District No. 1 has posted the rules for outdoor burning on their website under the links section. You can find a copy of the rules and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document at this address:
http://www.bastropesd1.com/link
Texas law makes it illegal to burn outdoors with very few exceptions. It is your responsibility to know the law and burn within rules defined in the law. Failure to follow the law may result in tickets, hefty environmental fines, and charges from responding fire departments to extinguish your fire.

In short, burning is allowed only from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset (the official times). You are only allowed to burn natural vegetation that grew on your property. You are not allowed to burn trash, waste, building materials, plastics, wire, oil, tires, etc. Anything found in a fire that didn’t grow on your property will likely result in a fine by local and state law enforcement agencies. Fines start at $500 and can easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The exact language in the law states:
on-site burning of trees, brush, grass, leaves, branch trimmings, or other plant growth by the owner of the property or any other person authorized by the owner, and when the material is generated only from that property

  • (3) Burning shall be commenced and conducted only when wind direction and other meteorological conditions are such that smoke and other pollutants will not cause adverse effects to any public road, landing strip, navigable water, or off-site structure containing sensitive receptor(s).
  • (4) If at any time the burning causes or may tend to cause smoke to blow onto or across a road or highway, it is the responsibility of the person initiating the burn to post flag-persons on affected roads.
  • (5) Burning must be conducted downwind of or at least 300 feet (90 meters) from any structure containing sensitive receptors located on adjacent properties unless prior written approval is obtained from the adjacent occupant with possessory control.
  • (6) Burning shall be conducted in compliance with the following meteorological and timing considerations:
  • (A) The initiation of burning shall commence no earlier than one hour after sunrise. Burning shall be completed on the same day, not later than one hour before sunset, and shall be attended by a responsible party at all times during the active burn phase when the fire is progressing. In cases where residual fires and smoldering objects continue to emit smoke after this time, such areas shall be extinguished if the smoke from these areas has the potential to create a nuisance or traffic hazard condition. In no case shall the extent of the burn area be allowed to increase after this time.
  • (B) Burning shall not be commenced when surface wind speed is predicted to be less than six miles per hour (mph) (five knots) or greater than 23 mph (20 knots) during the burn period.
  • (C) Burning shall not be conducted during periods of actual or predicted persistent low-level atmospheric temperature inversions.
  • (7) Electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wood construction/demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, and items containing natural or synthetic rubber must not be burned.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and for making La Reata Ranch a safe place to live.

David Gahagan Assistant Fire Chief, 3-N-1 Vol. Fire Dept. Commissioner, Bastrop County ESD No. 1 La Reata Resident

Wildfire Fuel Mitigation Program/ Right of Entry and Use Agreement

Residents interested in arranging for Bastrop County to reduce the fire risk by clearing brush from their property, please complete and mail a Right of Entry (ROE) form. The application should be mailed to the address on the bottom of the form; it is on a first come - first serve basis. The property owner will be contacted prior to the start of work to schedule a time for a walk through of the property to identify fences, septic systems and other obstacles. The ROE form can be found here.
Property owners should review the final bullet point on the ROE form and understand that as a part of the service, they have a continued obligation to provide reasonable maintenance of any mitigation work performed by the County. Residents need to be aware that there are limited resources available for this service - practice patience.

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