Trash burn was illegal; homes threatened, VFD says
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Illegal burning near the Frio County line caused a midday brush fire along Vaughan Road at the edge of Pearsall that threatened several homes on Wednesday, July 20.
A preliminary report on the case from fire officials indicates the brush fire began when one or more people burned trash illegally that morning.
Pearsall volunteer firefighters and Pct. 3 Constable Daniel Zapata responded to the call Wednesday with brush trucks and a fire engine in hopes of containing the blaze that was spreading quickly.
“Tires left in the pit along with the sweltering heat made it difficult for firefighters,” Pearsall Volunteer Fire Department Chief Placido Aguilar said on Thursday.
A front-end loader that was on the property was used to contain the fire and prevent the blaze from damaging homes that were within feet of the midday blaze.
According to Aguilar, no property damage to the nearby homes or injuries were reported.
Frio County deputies were called to investigate the individuals who burned the trash and may charge them with misdemeanor offenses.
Frio County is currently under a burn ban approved June 13 by commissioners. The 90-day ban is expected to last until mid-September, when it may be renewed upon advisement from the Texas Forest Service, based on the drought and ongoing high-risk conditions for fast-moving wildfires.
The ban makes it a crime to burn any trash or brush outdoors, to set any agricultural fires without permission, to have bonfires or any uncontrollable pit fires, and makes exceptions only when in the interest of public health and safety authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The order applies to all unincorporated areas of Frio County, outside the city limits of Pearsall and Dilley. Violations may be prosecuted as Class C misdemeanors and punishable with fines up to $500.