Burn ban lifted; Rains improve conditions in county

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, September 8, 2018

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The full burn ban that was in place since July 10 in Wise County was lifted Tuesday, per Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell.

According to a press release, Wise County Judge J.D. Clark lifted the full ban and reverted back to the ban that is dependent on weather conditions. Burning is prohibited on Red Flag and high fire danger days.

The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth’s forecast called for a wet weather pattern that will continue for the next several days with isolated heavy rainfall. There is a 50 percent chance for rain Saturday with high near 80.

Powell said it is important for residents to remember the county is still under a burn ban. The ban lifted was the full burn ban issued almost two months ago. That ban prohibited open burning of any kind. Welding was allowed under certain conditions, and outdoor cooking also had stipulations.

Powell said because of the unusually wet conditions, it gave them an opportunity to lift the full ban. Between Tuesday and Thursday, 2.5 inches of rain fell at Decatur Municipal Airport. After reaching an average above 700 in early August on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, the count was at 448 Friday. The index measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture. The scale goes to 800.

In Thursday’s drought monitor by the USDA, most of the county remained in severe drought.

The release said Clark recognized the need for residents to burn, and although the conditions are now safer for people to do so, this in no way is a guarantee it is completely safe to burn.

The full ban will be evaluated at Monday’s Commissioners Meeting.

Powell said although it is not required, he highly suggests any resident wanting to burn to call the Wise County dispatch, log the burn and make sure they are able to burn legally.

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