SHERMAN, TX - The Grayson County Commissioners Court approved a burn ban Monday morning, using different methods than before.
"The difference in today's burn ban and some in the past is the commissioners court really does want to use data to make a decision," said County Judge Drue Bynum.
Grayson County Director of Emergency Management Sarah Somers said the ban was only part of what they accomplished. "They adopted a policy and a practice that anytime the KBDI or the Keetch-Byram drought index goes over 600 that the court will have the burn ban on their agenda," Somers said.
The KBDI scale starts at zero, and goes up to 800. At Monday's meeting, several fire departments were represented. Understandably so, since about 200 acres in Grayson County have been lost to wildfires since January 1st.
"The departments within Grayson County have just in the last week begun an escalated response to wild land fires and brush fires," said Sherman Fire Chief Jeff Jones.
But in spite of the increased calls, the Grayson County Association of fire chiefs still proposed an allowance for welding. A proposal both Commissioner Whitlock and Judge Bynum agreed with.
"We did have some discussion today about welding operations. We wanted to make sure we added some criteria in there that allowed people to go ahead and weld because that does affect people's livelihood," Bynum said.
Fire chiefs were also encouraged to streamline their reporting measures, so the commissioners court can have the most accurate data possible to look at the county burn ban in the coming weeks.
Jones said, "We want the commissioners to have good information. And again, this is not about how many calls we've made. This is about the calls that we don't want to make, and that's the reason for the burn ban."
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