County commissioners court leaves burn ban in place through Oct. 11
Recent rains have helped, but not enough to allow open fires
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Juy 26, 2005 -- Hopkins County commissioners took no action on an agenda item Monday that could have cut short a 90-day burn ban enacted by the court earlier this month.

The burn ban, enacted on July 11, will remain in place until Oct. 11. All outdoor burning is prohibited during that time unless there is enough rainfall to convince commissioners to rescind the order.

Commissioners agreed the recent rains -- 3.26 inches for the month of July -- were just not enough to relieve the extremely dry conditions even though vegetation has grown with the much-needed moisture.

"Each one of the commissioners gave testimony in the meeting," Millsap said. "Precinct 2 Commissioner Burke Bullock said that after the recent rains, green grass had come back out, but green grass will burn, too."

Even with the possibility of rain in the forecast for this week (see Page 10), commissioners said even that would not be enough to lift the ban.

"It has just gotten that bad," Millsap said.

Until county commissioners remove the ban on outdoor burning, any fire outside an approved container is prohibited.

County officials said outdoor cooking and burning trash would be allowed as long as the fire is in a container that would prevent sparks and embers from escaping.

Even then, common sense was urged for any outdoor burning, and county commissioners recommended having a water supply close at hand as a precaution.

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