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September 18, 2012

Henderson County burn ban expires

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court allowed the burn ban to expire, thanks to scattered rains in the county over the past few days.

Commissioners took no action on the agenda items to extend the ban, but will review the drought index again next Tuesday, and decide if it needs to be reinstated.

Fire Marshal Darrell Furrh said even though the county was above the 575 threshold on the Keetch-Byrum drought index, much of the county is below that mark, and conditions have improved.

The far western part of the county, however, remains over 700 on the Keetch-Bynum drought index, and the county average is in the 600 to 700 range.

“I take a lot of calls about the burn ban, and I’m sure the members of the Commissioners Court take a lot of calls about it,” Furrh said. “Right now, with the drought index like it is, I still can’t recommend that we lift the burn ban. But, if the Commissioners choose to lift the burn ban, right now would be the best time.”

Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall said the Cross Roads area, which has been dry throughout the summer, got two to three inches of slow-soaking rain recently.

In Commissioner Ronny Lawrence’s Precinct 3, there has been sufficient rain for several weeks.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney reports that the east side of Cedar Creek Lake has also seen two-to-three inches welcome precipitation, since Thursday.

County Fire Marshal Darrell Furrh’s office asks citizens to continue to observe all existing laws, when it comes to outdoor burning.  A list of the rules and regulations is listed on the Henderson County website.

Citizens are reminded to be wary of weather conditions when burning, and be sure that the smoke and other pollutants won’t cause a hazard for any public road, landing strip or navigable water.

The person doing the burning is responsible for damages, injuries or any other circumstances that may arise from the burning.

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