By Michael V. Hannigan
ATHENS – For the second straight week, Henderson County commissioners did not institute a burn ban. They are not alone, as Anderson, Cherokee, Kaufman, Smith and Van Zandt counties are also without burn bans right now.
So why is non-action news? Because Henderson County had been under a burn ban for seven consecutive months before last week’s decision. Also because the Keetch-Byram Drought Index average in the county sits at 632, well above the 575 benchmark for calling a ban.
Commissioners have decided to allow time for county residents to burn trash and brush before a frost kills all vegetation, making the fire hazard even higher.
At Commissioners’ Court Tuesday, Fire Marshal Darrell Furrh said, “It is still very, very dry out there so I recommend people be very, very careful.”
Residents were reminded that burning at night is always illegal and subject to fines regardless of the burn ban status.
“That’s part of the regular outdoor burning rules,” said Furrh.