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2011-07-28 digital edition

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2011-07-28 / Front Page

Entire State Under Burn Ban, Less 7 Counties

In Lee County Commissioners’ Court last Monday, the Commissioners voted to continue the burn ban after learning again this week that the fire danger index is extremely high at 702, with 500 being the benchmark for danger. In fact, almost the entire state of Texas is under a burn ban. All this is predicated by the lack of rain and the significant drought we are experiencing. According to the weather service, January to June of this year is the ninth driest on record for Central Texas, with records dating back to 1856.

Delynn E. Peschke, Lee County Office of Emergency Management, said, “As of this morning, July 25, 2011, 247 counties, out of 254, have burn bans and 7 counties currently do not have a burn ban. The only counties without bans are in southeast Texas and in deep south Texas, and include Hardin, Orange, Jefferson, Chambers, Zapata, Brooks, and Willacy. The map seen here shows the extent of the burn bans across the state.”

The Texas Forest Service says this is a record number of counties with outdoor burn bans. The previous record, before this year’s drought, was set in January 2006 with 221 counties having outdoor burn bans. That mark was passed last month.

With the outlook of potential rainfall being slim to none, the best hope of receiving significant rain might come from a hurricane.

All of this leads some of us to say, “Don’t light a match. Don’t do anything that causes a spark and say ‘Thank You’ to your local volunteer firemen with a handshake or a hug.”

For a closer look at the map seen at the left, go to page A8 of today’s paper.

According to the weather service, January to June of this year is the ninth driest on record for Central Texas, with records dating back to 1856.

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