Bonfire Cancelled For Now

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

It's a no go for Saturday's scheduled unsanctioned bonfire in Robertson County.

County commissioners decided Friday that lighting the stack, in the midst of a burn ban, would be too risky.

After weeks without rain, Robertson County declared a burn ban on Monday.

A late week evaluation determined drought conditions had worsened leading county commissioners to reject a request from the Student Bonfire organization to make an exception for the off-campus bonfire.

"Based on those conditions and the advise of the Forest Service and our local fire department, we upheld the burn ban and denied the specific permit for this bonfire burn," Robertson County Judge Jan Roe.

Student Bonfire's Bryan Lane says the commissioners' decision was not a complete surprise.

"We've been anticipating it for a while, watching the drought index and monitoring it," Lane said. "it was always a possibility."

Roe says the situation is unfortunate considering all the efforts made by Student Bonfire committee members.

"They have done everything we've asked of them," Roe said. "They've been safety conscious. They've met with us. They've gone over and beyond."

However, moderate chances for rain have ignited the possibility of bonfire happening sometime early next week.

With rain in the forecast, commissioners will reconvene for an emergency hearing Monday at 2:00 p.m. to reconsider the burn permit.

Until then, bonfire organizers and county officials will make sure the stack remains unlit.

"People will be at the site 24 hours a day," Lane said. "The gates will be locked. If anybody comes out there they will be trespassing."

"We will have fire protection and law enforcement at the location this weekend," Roe said.

Despite the unfavorable vote, bonfire organizers see a silver lining.

"We're disappointed that it doesn't get to burn, but the major thing is that it's built up for the freshmen and everybody out there," Lane said.

Even though stack is built, Student Bonfire officials are telling Aggies not to come, on Saturday.

Click here for the Student Bonfire site.


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