With Burn Ban Lifted, Aggies Prepare For Off-Campus Bonfire

Tuesday, November 20th 2007, 12:56 pm
By: News On 6

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) _ Texas A&M University students were putting the finishing touches on the huge tower of logs they plan to torch Tuesday night in preparation for the upcoming football game against archrival Texas.

Dry conditions and strong winds prompted local officials to impose a burn ban last week, forcing bonfire organizers to postpone the annual event planned for Saturday.

Officials lifted the ban in most precincts Monday after weekend rains dumped up to three inches of rain in some areas. Organizers quickly decided to light the bonfire on Tuesday.

Barry Morris, a senior leader of the off-campus organization in charge of the bonfire, said students weren't too worried about whether the ban would be lifted.

``Burning, it's nice of course, but it's the building of it that really brings out that camaraderie in all the Aggies,'' said Morris, an agricultural development major from San Antonio.

More than 800 students have been cutting and stacking wood since September 22 to build the bonfire, he said.

The bonfire has been banned from campus since 12 Aggies were killed when a 59-foot-high wedding cake-like stack of more than 5,000 logs collapsed as students were building it on November 18, 1999.

Students have since continued the tradition off-campus. They've been building the bonfire this year at a ranch near Hearne.

Texas A&M takes on No. 13 Texas on Friday in College Station.