Henderson County institutes a burn ban, Smith County may follow suit soon

Henderson County institutes a burn ban, Smith County may follow suit soon

TYLER (KYTX)-Today Henderson County commissioners issued a burn ban for the county and Kaufman County has been under a burn ban since early august. Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks says that Smith County may be following suit soon.

"You know I think we're getting close but we are still a couple weeks out. We've been a little more fortunate this year with the rain and also Smith County is a little more urban interface then you would have in those counties that are more rural," Brooks said.

Brooks is watching the drought monitor and how fires are progressing in the county.

"If we continue with the same weather pattern we've had over the last week or 2, I would say we are probably going to really have to start considering this in the next 2 weeks," Brooks said.

Brooks says people need to be extra careful when driving.

"Along the interstate we have had several spot fires over the last couple of days that we believe were caused by either flat tires, people driving on the rim, or cigarettes that were thrown out," Brooks said.

Texas A&M Ag Extension Agent Chad Gulley says though it can be inconvenient to people in the county with land, burn bans are very important.

"Most people I think in general are in favor of burn bans, it may be an inconvenience to them but they do come around and understand the reason and logic behind it because if you are burning a brush pile and the wind catches right and you get a spark and you catch the neighbors hay field on fire or the forest, it can be a bigger problem," Gulley said.

Brooks says he's not only concerned about the next few weeks.

"I am concerned about the winter to be honest, this winter could be fairly significant for us. I don't think well see fires like in 2011 but i think were going to have to have a heightened awareness of fire and wildfire season," Brooks said.

Smith County commissioners are the ones who make the final decision about instituting a burn ban but Brooks is asked to make recommendations to the court, and he thinks he may have to do that within the next few weeks.


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