Outdoor Burning

June 2, 2020

 

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about outdoor burning so I thought we’d put it center stage!  To put a fine point on it, outdoor burning of waste is not allowed within the JVFD district.  Why?  We are following the State of Texas rules on the subject.  Per the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ):

“Grass, leaves, and branch trimmings from residences are all considered “domestic waste.” If your local government does not collect domestic waste and does not authorize a private collector to do so, you may burn material of this type. If such waste collection is available, then it cannot be burned under the domestic-waste exception.”

On the other side of the topic, cooking fires in a controlled container (BBQ’s, smokers, etc.) and warning fires during the winter, also in controlled containers (outdoor stoves, chimineas, masonry fire pits, etc.) are legal as long as they are not emitting flames of dangerous heights or emitting large numbers of embers that could pose a threat to structures or vegetation.  We would also recommend that these items not be used on combustible surfaces or near structures or vegetation.

If you see someone burning illegally, contact our department and we will respond.  If the situation becomes a problem, the department can levy a fine.  We can also involve WCSO and/or TCEQ and the State Fire Marshall’s Office to assist in correcting the issue.

You can access the entire Outdoor Burning in Texas publication at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/rg/rg-049.html

 

Flood Safety Tips

April 5, 2020

Perhaps the biggest cause of flood-related deaths and injuries is lack of public understanding of the severity and danger involved with floods and flash floods. The following tips can help protect you during flood events.

Fast Facts About Flood Events

  • Many people are killed by driving or walking on roads and bridges that are covered by water. Even though the water might look only inches deep, it could be much deeper and with have strong currents. It only takes two feet of water to carry away a car and six inches of swiftly moving water will sweep a person off his feet.
  • Flooded creeks and streams are unpredictable. Even though the surface water may be smooth the water is moving very fast.
  • High water in streets and intersections will quickly stall motor vehicles. Most trucks, four-wheel drives, and sport utility vehicles also are susceptible to being swept away by high water. Such vehicles often give motorists a false sense of security, believing the vehicles are safe under any conditions.
  • If you are approaching a flooded roadway, turn around and take an alternate route, even though vehicles in front of you may have passed through the high water.
  • If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
  • Never let children play near creeks or storm drains when the water is rising or high. Swimming skills have nothing to do with surviving a flooded creek or stream.
  • Debris or garbage in the water may include tires, shopping carts, furniture etc. These items can easily injure or trap a person under water.
  • Flooded streams and rivers are not safe for recreational boating. Many canoeists and kayakers have been rescued from dangerous rapids in flood-swollen streams and rivers.

What to do if someone falls in or is trapped in flood water

  • Do not go after the victim!
  • If possible, throw them victim something to use as a flotation device (spare tire, large ball or foam ice chest).
  • Call 911 with correct location information on this water rescue situation.
  • Never set up a tent or camper on the bank of a river or stream. It is best to allow some distance between the campsite and water so if a flash flood does occur, you will have more time to move to higher ground.
  • If you live in a low-lying area or near a creek, pay close attention to water levels during heavy rain events. Water levels rise rapidly during flash floods, often surprising victims. Heavy rainfall upstream can cause a river or stream to rise quickly, even if it is not raining near you. Be prepared to move quickly to higher round if water levels begin rising. Quickly responding to an evacuation order can save your life.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Follow recommended evacuation routes. Shortcuts may be blocked.

Protect Yourself From Heat Stress

April 4, 2020

SunWhen the body is unable to cool itself by sweating, several heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress or heat exhaustion and the more severe heat stroke can occur, and can result in death.

Read more

Check the Air in your Spare!

July 11, 2019

Three times in the last three weeks, I have stopped to help someone change a flat tire.  Twice, I actually changed the tire.  The other time, I just used the flashy lights on the truck to protect the person who was actually doing the work.  Either way, I was there to help!  The issue that caught my attention was that, every time a tire was changed, the spare was flat.  This was not immediately apparent when we were putting the tire on the car but, when the jack was lowered and the tire had to hold the car’s weight, things drastically changed.

This made me think about my truck’s spare tire……..I bought my truck in 2002 and I have never thought of checking the air in my spare.  So, I did.  And, just like the others mentioned above, I had a whopping 15 psi in the spare.

Luckily, I learned about this problem via the mistakes made by others, so I thought I’d pass this little lesson on to all of you.

Before you’re on the side of a busy highway, in the dark, in the rain, make sure that your vehicle’s spare tire is ready to roll!