Disaster declaration continues

July 2, 2011

The Nolan County Commissioners Court called a special meeting on Friday, July 1, at the Nolan County Courthouse.
As approval must take place on a weekly basis, approval was once again given to extend the disaster declaration for Nolan County along with the order prohibiting outdoor burning for one week.
At their regular meeting on Monday, June 14, 2011, the commissioners approved a draft declaring the county a disaster area. The declaration drafted by the Commissioners stated that "extraordinary measures must be taken to alleviate the suffering of people and to protect or rehabilitate property".
The document cites the actions prohibited under the declaration, such as "all outdoor burning of any combustible material" and "the sale and use of all fireworks". Enforcement of the declaration is also noted, where the fire department will respond to the burning site and distinguish the fire and peace officers will investigate the fire.
The law enforcement at the scene will then notify those responsible of the prohibitions and, at the officer's discretion, will inform the party of the provisions under the declaration and ask them to comply. In such cases, a written entry will be recorded on the burning.
Should the violations continue, "subsequent or flagrant violations of this order may be prosecuted in accordance with the statues and procedures governing misdemeanors." The document states that any peace officer may enforce the declaration and prosecution will take place with the Justice of the Peace Court.
Following the meeting on the 14th, the declaration was received by Texas Governor Rick Perry, in which the request was reviewed and granted by Perry at the recommendation of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. However, commissioners have to make the declaration on a weekly basis for the order to continue, in which the commissioners approved.

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