Heat & Drought Prompt More Burn Bans Across TX

The list of Texas counties under a burn ban continues to grow. The unrelenting heat and drought have prompted bans in all but a handful of counties.

The burn ban map from the Texas Forest Service now shows 248 counties shaded in red.  That means outdoor burning is off limits. April Saginow with the Texas Forest Service.  She says it's not just the lack of rain, but also the heat, that has turned Texas into a tinderbox.

"We were told this morning that this is going to be one of the hottest weeks we've seen in the state since August 2000.  Many of our counties are under heat advisories.  We could see temperatures in the 110-range this week.  So, not a good time to be burning stuff outdoors."

Saginow says careless debris burning is not the only thing that can start fires.

"We're seeing a lot of starts from flat tires dragging on the road, and parking cars in dry grass, unattended campfires.  So any activity that, normally, would be innocuous, these activities are now causing wildfires that are spreading pretty rapidly and are threatening lives and property."

Only six counties don't have a ban right now.  Three of them are in the Rio Grande Valley, where Tropical Storm Don brought some rain over the weekend.  The other three are just east of Houston: Chambers, Jefferson, and Orange. 

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

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