Burn bans now in place ahead of 4th

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

June 30, 2022

Both Hill and Bosque counties are now under burn bans as drought conditions have intensified and carried over into summer. Area fire departments have been busy responding to grass fire calls recently, as the Texas Forest Service warned of increased wildfire activity. “The dryness we are currently seeing across portions of the state is generally what we would be experiencing in mid to late July,” said Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services Department head. “The drought that has been carried over from the spring into the summer has initiated an early start to the summer fire season. Early summer drying in June also introduces the possibility of experiencing a severe late summer fire season.” State and local fire resources have responded to an average of 4,047 wildfires for 188,259 acres annually over the past five years. In 2022, firefighters have already responded to 5,047 wildfires that have burned 527,241 acres across the state. Texas Forest Service photo

Hill and Bosque county officials implemented burn bans last week as grass fire calls picked up in both counties and hot, dry conditions persisted.

The Bosque County Commissioners Court issued a 90-day burn ban Monday, June 20, after which several fireworks stands in the county voluntarily pulled aerial fireworks from their shelves.

Hill County Judge Justin Lewis issued a disaster declaration Friday, June 24, citing recent wildland fires and the continued threat to the county. The order also bans the sale and use of all fireworks, although commercial/professional firework displays are still permitted.

The judge’s emergency order is effective for seven days, and the Hill County Commissioners Court was scheduled to consider extending the ban in a regular meeting set for Tuesday, June 28.

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