Most East Texas counties lift the burn ban

Monday, September 23, 2013 - 6:46pm

14 East Texas counties so far lifted their burn ban.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the Smith County Commissioners court will meet to decide if that county got enough rain fall to lift the ban

All East Texas counties were feeling the effects of the 2011 drought and the county commissioners issued a burn ban mid summer.

Now Rusk, Cherokee, Gregg, Anderson, Shelby, Upshur and other East Texas counties lifted their ban.

"We would prefer not to put one on. We're simply trying to look after the health and safety of our county residents and their property," said Rusk County Judge Joel Hale.

Rusk County was under a burn ban for 3 months.

They received more than 4 inches of rain Friday and lifted the ban.

But, Hale said residents were still able to burn their trash in containers and cook outside.

"We try to be as flexible as we can with our burn bans."

Gregg County was under one since August.

They received more than 5 inches of rain and lifted their ban.

"The kb index is down to the low 5s high 4s and it was the recommendation of the county fire marshal as well as the Forest Service thought it would be safe to lift the burn ban so we lifted it this morning," said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt.

The Smith County commissioners court will decide Tuesday to lift it or not.

Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton tells KETK the drought index is on a 0 to 800 scale: 0 being the wettest 800 being the driest.

Last week Smith County was at 733, after the rainfall we dropped to 290.

"This means we received significant rainfall and the vegetation is absorbing some of that," said Smith County Marshal Jim Seaton.

But, Seaton said if we don't continue to receive the rainfall and moisture it will dry out very shortly.



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