HB 1837

85(R) - 2017
House County Affairs
House County Affairs
Local Government
Property Rights

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Drew Springer

Bill Caption

Relating to the authority of counties to require a person to notify a local governmental entity before starting an outdoor fire; creating a criminal penalty.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

HB 1837 would permit a county commissioner’s court to introduce a new regulation by requiring a person to notify a local governmental entity before starting an outdoor fire in the county. This would not apply to campfires, grill fires, pit fires, or certain enclosed fires. This bill would make it a Class C misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally violate an order requiring notice.

Vote Recommendation Notes

While this bill does place a small burden on the property owner to notify the county about certain kinds of fires they plan to burn, counties have the duty to protect against wildfires. Particularly in rural areas fire departments are small and/or all volunteer and responding to fires that are non-threatening is a large burden. Despite the minor burden it is only a notice and does not require permission, and there are exemptions for many common types of fires. Balancing the minor burden to property owners against the legitimate interest of the county we remain neutral.

Organizations Supporting

County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas
Texas Association of Counties
Travis County Commissioners Court