Area counties hangin' tough during drought

Despite ripe fire conditions throughout a majority of Texas, including a majority of Northeast Texas, the region has remained fire free for the most part; and officials want to keep it that way.

According to the Texas Forestry Service Hunt County, along with 197 other Texas Counties, had burn bans in effect as of Thursday. Other area counties under the ban include Delta, Fannin, Kaufman, Lamar, Rains, Red River and Rockwall Counties. Hunt County and a number of area counties also remain under the recent extreme fire danger proclamation issued by Governor Perry two weeks ago.

Commerce Fire Department Chief Brian McNevin tells KETR his staff has not responded to reports of any wild fires for more than a week. McNevin did indicate a few reports that had surfaced near Wolfe City and more west of Commerce, but no such fires that required mutual aid from his department.

Hunt County Fire Marshall Richard Hill says the majority of wild fires being reported are occurring in southern Hunt County, but still nothing too severe.

Hill says despite the precipitation received last week, the sun and wind we've had since then made ground conditions very dry.

County residents are advised to obey the current burn ban, which makes it illegal to burn trash and brush, but does not include outdoor cooking or outdoor welding. Violation of the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor.

The burn ban is in effect for 90 days from the time it was enacted on December 8 unless lifted by the Commissioners Court before then.