The Henderson County burn ban is back. This time for 28 days unless the county gets significant rainfall.
Commissioners Court voted 4-to-1 on Tuesday, with Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence opposed to bringing back the ban. The Commissioners Court had enacted a 2-week ban on Sept. 2, which expired last week.
Fire Marshal Shane Renberg said the entire county is extremely dry, except for a small section in the Chandler area. He reports there were two large grass fires on Monday.
“We did have a couple of grass fires yesterday that got out of control pretty quick,” Renberg said. “I believe the Westside Volunteer Fire Department was out on one last night until about 10:30 at night, that started at about 3:30 or 4 p.m. The forecast isn’t showing much rain, so we’re really in the same boat as we were last week.”
County Judge Richard Sanders called for a 28-day ban, stating that the court could rescind it at any time, if rains came. Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas made a motion to enact the ban, which was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney, “with reservations.”
On Tuesday, Henderson County had a 647 reading on the 800-point Keetch-Byrum Drought Index scale, with 800 representing totally-dry soil. The county is projected to be at 689 in two weeks. Only 19 of Texas’ 254 counties are over 600 on the scale. Seventy counties are currently under a burn ban, including Kaufman, Navarro and Ellis counties.
In other action, the commissioners:
• approved a contract with Clifford Power Systems to continue to perform the annual inspection on the generators at the Henderson County Justice Center at a cost of $1,347.
• approved a slate of county holidays for 2015, including the Friday before Independence Day;
• approved right-of-way permits for O’Brien Energy to bore under a road in Precinct 4;
• approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Star Harbor for labor and equipment to repair Land Cove and Hickory Circle;
• authorized payment of bills in the amount of $251,430;
• approved a renewal application for liability insurance from the Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool.