Grayson Co. commissioners vote to lift burn ban

By: Dia Wall Email
By: Dia Wall Email

SHERMAN, TX - Tuesday at midnight the Grayson County burn ban will expire.

More than three months ago, Grayson County Commissioners approved a burn ban in the county. Tuesday they reconsidered the ban based on a policy they created in July.

On July 11th, the Grayson County Commissioners Court decided that anytime the Keetch-Byram drought index is more than 600, they would consider a burn ban. Tuesday the index was below 600 for the first time in months.

"We are releasing the burn ban. It will die naturally at midnight."

The Grayson County Commissioners court voted unanimously to let the current burn ban expire, since the Keetch-Byram Drought Index today was below 600 and forecast to stay there for the next two weeks.

"We look at it everyday and the policy of the court now is that if it gets over 600 again it will be right back on their agenda and they will reconsider it," said Director of Emergency Management Sarah Somers. Somers also said 13 of the 19 fire departments were in favor of lifting the burn ban.

Dozens of fires burned across Grayson County over the summer. All the more reason Sherman Fire Chief Jeff Jones said residents should still be aware of the weather conditions. "Obviously today is a good example, humidity is a little low and the winds are up. So even without a burn ban people need to use caution."

And more importantly, know both state and county regulations about outdoor burning. Somers said, "you can't burn anything anytime anywhere. You need to be sure and get educated."

"There is a state law that does not allow burning at night," said Waldrip.

Jones said there are residents who have been waiting months to burn, but the court had to do what was best for Grayson County. "We have to set some realistic parameters based on the weather conditions and the fire conditions. And that's exactly what the commissioners had done by imposing the burn ban."

Somers said 75 percent of the public was against lifting the burn ban. It's also important to note that you will be held liable if a fire you start damages the property of others. Although the ban lifts at midnight on Tuesday, Texas state law says you cannot burn until one hour after sunrise.

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