KETR Local
2:10 am
Sun January 25, 2009

Burn ban still high priority in Hunt County

Hunt County – Fire danger in Hunt County and the surrounding region remains a high priority this week, as conditions have not shown much improvement over the past several weeks.

Hunt County Fire Marshall Richard Hill stressed the importance of citizens in the County to obey the current burn ban in place. The ban makes it illegal to burn trash and brush, and is in effect for 90 days, or until the Commissioners Court vote to remove it. The burn ban does not include outdoor cooking or outdoor welding. Violation is a Class C misdemeanor.

The Hunt County Commissioners Court is not scheduled to discuss the possibility of lifting the burn ban during Monday's meeting because, according to Hill, conditions are even worse than they were when Commissioners met two weeks ago. As of Friday, 109 Texas counties were under burn bans.

Grass fires are always a cause for concern when a burn ban is in effect, as are structure fires. A series of fires more than a week ago between Celeste and Wolfe City destroyed both an unoccupied home and the Hogeye Community Center. Hill says the fires remain under investigation.

The lack of rainfall has also proved a nuisance on Greenville City officials, who late last week advised residents to conserve water, as both the water level at Lake Tawakoni had fallen below 434 feet and the Palmer Drought Severity Index listed Greenville in a moderate drought.