Due to the moderate to severe drought conditions and fuel dryness experienced by the Greater Houston Area, a burn ban has been issued for both Harris County and Montgomery County. The following advisory is based on the information provided by the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, and the Texas Forest Service.
Under the conditions of the ban, outdoor burning is allowed in an enclosure that does not allow the escape of flames, embers, or sparks. Backyard cook-outs and barbeques are also allowed, as is welding and other "hot work" performed in accordance with International Fire Code requirements.
Fire officials are stressing the importance of education and prevention first, however violation of the restrictions is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. This applies to both Harris and Montgomery counties. In addition, any person who starts a fire that causes damage to property without the consent of the owner may be charged with Reckless Damage or Destruction, a Class C misdemeanor, or Arson, a felony.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has issued a county disaster declaration, banning the sale and use of all stick rockets and missiles with fins within Harris County. The Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office has also issued an order restricting the sale and use of certain aerial fireworks known for their increased risk of starting fires. These restrictions are now in effect. These restrictions do not affect professional public fireworks displays.
Before purchasing or using fireworks of any kind in the greater Houston area, we encourage you to consult with your local fire department for guidance.