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


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!


School Zone Safety

January 17, 2019

School Zone

Driving in the School Zone: Slow down-you’re free to drive even slower than 20 m.p.h. and should when conditions warrant it such as times of poor visibility due to heavy rain, Read more

Battery Safety

February 15, 2017


This month, in a police and fire department insurance magazine, there was a great article on battery safety, particularly battery storage and disposal.  The article was very informative and discussed some valid safety issues concerning the ability of your basic household batteries to start a fire.   After reading it, I went home and found I was one of the worst offenders at battery storage so I thought it would be good to bring it to everyone’s attention.

Think about it…what’s the number one place most people store loose batteries?  The junk drawer!   You know…the drawer in the kitchen that you throw everything that doesn’t have a home.  This is where the problems begin.  Batteries that are improperly stored can short against any piece of metal they bump up to (coins, keys, paper clips, pen clips, other batteries, etc.) and overheat, igniting combustible items (note paper, coupons, lotto tickets, etc.) causing a fire. Once the items in the drawer start burning, it can quickly catch the cabinets, then the kitchen and then turn into a family’s worse nightmare: a house fire.

The most likely battery to cause an issue is the 9-volt.  Due to the terminals being on the same end of the battery and very close together, 9-volt batteries can easily be shorted, causing them to overheat and start a fire.  Other battery types can have issues as well when multiple batteries are stored together so treat them just like the 9-volt, safely.

Battery companies recommend that you keep batteries in the container you purchased them in until you need them, to prevent battery shorting issues.  When batteries are loose, it is recommended that you store them standing up in a non-metallic container.  9-volt batteries should be stored with a piece of electrical tape covering the terminals.

The same safety concerns arise during disposal.  All of the issues discussed above can occur when you haphazardly dispose of batteries.  With the right conditions, just tossing them in the trash can burn your house down just as quickly as improperly storing them.  Follow the same battery safety rules when storing and disposing of batteries.