A county gravel pit near Chalk Mountain has become a dangerous playground for some area individuals on four wheelers and with 4-wheel drive pickups.

And, it just may be a matter of time before somebody gets hurt.

County Commissioner Doug Eberhart said the county has been using the pit for about 10 years for road material. And for all that time he has seen vandalism that amounts to about $5,000 a year.

Although the vandalism is a concern, Eberhart said he's more worried about serious problems that have occurred the last two weekends at the pit.

He said he's seen evidence of vehicles running up and down hills 100 feet tall and in some cases there are 1,500-foot drop-offs.

“If it got an avalanche started it could kill them,” Everhart said. “You can barely drive up (the hills) and then it's a sheer drop-off.”

The area is fenced in, but the gates have been rammed and the locks broken.

The last round of vandalism included stealing diesel fuel.

Eberhart said he has a consultant evaluating the area for surveillance cameras and Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said he has ordered a “close patrol” on the property.

“You'll go to jail if you're out there and you're caught,” Bryant said. “It's trespassing and a class B misdemeanor with at least a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.”