By MARY RAINWATER
Due to increasingly dry conditions, Anderson County commissioners ordered a burn ban for Anderson County during their regular meeting Friday.
The 90-day burn ban order was effective at about 11 a.m. Friday and continues through October, but can be lifted at any time by commissioners if conditions change.
“It has gotten awful dry,” County Judge Robert Johnston told commissioners. “The recent showers we got will not be enough to offset that.”
Precinct 4 Commissioner Joey Hill agreed, stating that he had spoken to volunteer fire department chiefs in this area about the issue.
“They recommended that we order a burn ban,” Hill said.
The order prohibits outdoor burning in all unincorporated areas of the county. Those violating the burn ban order will be cited by law enforcement.
According to City of Palestine officials, outdoor burning is never permitted within the city limits.
The Keetch Byram Drought Index, used to measure drought conditions, put Anderson County in the 600-700 range as of Friday, with the KBDI forecast to reach the highest range of 700-800 over the next 14 days.
According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 143 Texas counties are under burn ban orders as of Friday, including Henderson, Houston, Leon, Freestone and Navarro counties.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.