People Protecting Our Parks
Mayor Annise Parker Announces New Fire Safety Campaign for City Parks
|Mayor Annise Parker, theHoustonParksand Recreation Department (HPARD) and the Houston Fire Department (HFD) announced People Protecting Our Parks, a new campaign that calls on Houstonians to proactively protect the City’s parklands during the ongoing drought. The campaign has two main goals: fire prevention education and the protection of public parklands. The first step in this campaign is the issuance of a temporary ban on all barbeque pits in City of Houston Parks.
“Houstonians always respond to calls for help during times of need. People Protecting Our Parks is our call for help to everyone who loves our parks, green spaces and trees,” said Mayor Parker. “We ask all Houstonians to join with us to help prevent fires in our city parks. We are already facing the loss of thousands of our trees simply because they won’t survive the stress of the drought. I can’t imagine losing thousands more trees, or possibly an entire section of one of our beautiful parks, simply because we failed to protect them from fire.”
“We have seen wildfire tragedies all across our great state this past week. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by them,” saidHoustonParksand Recreation Director Joe Turner. “With HPD’s assistance, we made an aerial fly-over of our park system on Wednesday to assess the condition of our urban forest and get a clearer understanding of what we as a city were facing due to this unprecedented drought. As a result of that assessment and the predictions we’re hearing about the drought and the wildfire situations all across our state, we decided it is necessary to temporarily ban the use of barbeque pits and grills in all City of Houston Parks.”
The temporary ban on barbeque pits will remain in effect until further notice. Signage notifying the public about the ban will be placed in the parks. To allow for a period of public education, warnings will be issued to violators until City Council adopts a permanent enforcement mechanism next week.
“The City of Houston has seen more that its share of grass and woodland fires, with 160 fires since the beginning of September, compared to nine the same time last year,” reported Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison. “The Houston Fire Department is reminding citizens to be extra vigilant in activities that can lead to accidental fires, including the use of barbeques at home and smoking materials. We join Mayor Parker and HPARD in recognizing that our citizens can have the greatest positive impact on the safety of our parks by foregoing the use of barbeque grills right now.”
HFD recommends the following safety tips during this drought:
Vehicles, Trailers and Tools
Cigarettes or Other Smoking Materials