County Commissioner for Precinct 4, Joey Hill

County Commissioner for Precinct 4, Joey Hill

Due to dry, drought-like conditions, Anderson County Commissioners' Court issued a 90-day burn ban Monday. Violating the ban ordinance on outdoor burning constitutes a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

“Dry weather and several grass fires in the last few weeks led to our decision this morning,” Commissioner Joey Hill said Monday. “We had hoped we would get a few showers over the weekend as predicted, but it didn’t happen. We felt it best to issue the burn ban.”

Accordingly, city of Palestine fire officials placed the city under a burn ban. The city ban will also last 90 days, or until lifted by the Fire Marshal. Burn permits are issued almost every day within the city, except during a burn ban.

As of Monday, Anderson County’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index registered 683 – well within the 600-800 range associated with severe drought and rapidly spreading wildfires that are difficult to contain.

The drought index, used to determine forest fire potential, ranges from 0 to 800: A drought index of 0 represents no moisture depletion; an index of 800 represents absolutely dry conditions.

In Texas, local governments, through a county judge or commissioners, have the authority to issue burn bans, restricting or outlawing outdoor burning, when drought conditions threaten public safety.

Officials could lift the ban, if the county gets a lot of moisture.

The ban cannot be extended, but another ban can be imposed.

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