Burn Ban Facts
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Outdoor Burning

January 17, 2017

When Wise County is under imminent threat of severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from the threat of wildfires due to the winter dry grass conditions and gusty winds that occur during the winter season, the Wise County Commissioners Court may approve a ban on outdoor burning for a period of 90 days. During this time no open flames, sparks or embers are allowed. For our residents in the rural areas, we strongly suggest that you make sure you keep an area of approximately 30 feet mowed around your home and out buildings to prevent a fire from reaching your structures. A violation of the Court Order Prohibiting Outdoor Burning is a Class C Misdemeanor and punishable of a fine up to $500. Review the guidelines for outdoor cooking and outdoor welding during burn bans or contact the Wise County Fire Marshal's Office. If sufficient amounts of rainfall occur during a burn ban, the Wise County Fire Marshal may request a repeal of the burn ban.

 To report someone illegally burning outdoors, call the Wise County Fire Dispatch at 940-627-5971 or the Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office at 940-627-5870.

Outdoor Cooking

Guidelines for Outdoor Cooking during a Burn Ban

Many Wise County residents are rightfully concerned about how a burn ban affects their plans to cook outdoors.  The Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office urges all residents to use common sense when handling flammable materials during a burn ban.

Below are a few guidelines to follow for outdoor cooking:
bulletGas grills are the safest outdoor cooking option.  Please keep the flames covered during the operation of your gas grill.
bulletIf you want to use a charcoal or wood-burning grill, it must be placed on a concrete, gravel or dirt surface at least five (5) feet from any combustible materials.  Please keep the cover on the grill during use.
bulletSmokers can be used if they are placed on a concrete, gravel, or dirt surface at least five feet from combustible materials.  Keep the flames covered during use.
bulletBe sure to have a water source, i.e. a bucket of water or a garden hose, nearby in case of emergencies.   
Should you have further questions regarding cooking outdoors during the burn ban, please contact the Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office at 940-627-5870 or email firemarshal@co.wise.tx.us

Outdoor Welding Guidelines


Where welding must be performed in the field, the following mitigating efforts will be in force until the Ban on Outdoor Burning has expired:

  1. All areas where welding, cutting or grinding operations are being performed will be free of vegetation or at least 25 feet in all directions;
  2. Surface around welding area will be wetted down;
  3. Wind speeds must be no more than 15 miles per hour while performing welding, cutting or grinding operations outside of barriers or enclosures;
  4. A dedicated fire watch person will attend each welder, cutter, grinder and any activity that causes a spark;
  5. A minimum of one water pressure fire extinguisher per fire watch person is required;
  6. Each site will have cellular telephone communications for emergency response;
  7. All welding, cutting and grinding operations may be performed in a total welding enclosure or “welding box” that is sufficiently high to control sparks and includes a fire retardant cover over the top. Wind speeds must not exceed 30 miles per hour while utilizing an enclosure;
    1. Where welding (above ground and sub-surface) is required in an area where there is a potential for a hazardous atmosphere, barriers will be substituted for total enclosures (e.g. “wind walls”) to prevent sparks from coming in contact with any combustible material;
    2. The barriers will be installed to allow ventilation of the work area with ingress and egress to the work area for personnel safety;
    3. Sub-surface or “bell hole” welding and grinding operations within approved excavations are allowed if all other mitigation efforts are included;
  8. If an emergency exists where welding has to be performed, the Fire Marshal may issue a temporary exception to the order.

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