The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

July 17, 2013

Anderson County burn ban lifted

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Just five days after approving a burn ban order, Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston lifted the ban on outdoor burning in unincorporated areas on Wednesday morning.

Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston lifted the ban, approved by commissioners in a Friday meeting, after consulting with the Texas Forest Service earlier today.

“They felt it was safe to lift the ban for a while,” Johnston said. “The county has received a pretty good amount of rainfall in the last few days and the drought index factor is estimated to go down.”

The Keetch Byram Drought Index report showed Anderson County to be in the 500-600 range as of Wednesday, with the numbers forecasted to rise to the next-highest level of 600-700 in the next two weeks.

“We will put the burn ban back on as conditions change,” the judge said. “We don’t do it as a punishment to land owners, but for the safety of residents in the county.”

City of Palestine officials report that outdoor burning is always prohibited in the city limits.