An order restricting outdoor burning in Rusk County has been issued by Rusk County Commissioners Court.

On Aug. 13, the commissioners announced they were in agreement that circumstances present in all or part of the unincorporated areas of the county create a public safety hazard that would be exacerbated by outdoor burning, according to a copy of the order.

The agreement was reached after the Texas Forest Service determined that drought conditions exist within Rusk County.

The order will not prohibit the use of outdoor gas grills, charcoal grills and barbecue smokers that are completely enclosed but will ban the use of any rolling unit with fire in the box on any road in Rusk County. The order also prohibits burning in an enclosed burn barrel or other receptacle.

All outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of Rusk County is prohibited for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of the order, Aug. 13. However, the burning restrictions may be terminated earlier based on a determination made by Texas Forest Service.

The order does not prohibit outdoor burning activities related to firefighter training, public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations or harvesting of agricultural crops.

A violation of the order is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500, according to Local Government Code 352.081(h).

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