Despite rain, Deep East Texas still under burn ban

Despite rain, Deep East Texas still under burn ban

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Despite an afternoon of rain, the Deep East Texas region remains under a burn ban.

According to And McCrady with the Texas A&M Forest Service, the area's drought index is still high.

"The drought index that is used often to measure burn bans is based on the first eight inches of soil," McCrady said. "It takes a while for that moisture to get down into that soil and that's why you will not see the rainfall not have a big effect on the actual drought index."

On Friday, Smith, Cass and Gregg Counties all lifted their burn bans. McCrady said if you look at that part of East Texas there was more rain fall. The bans were enacted after a record amount of rain in May followed by a dry June and July.

"What's interesting in Texas is we can have wildfires any time of year and it really only takes a month or two of drying for that to happen," McCrady said.

McCrady said caution is needed because fires are not the only concern right now.

"Doing anything around the home that would decrease those chances of ignition is important, but then also, doing things to keep your home safe is important so look at your home and the surrounding vegetation,"McCrady said. "Make sure you don't have a lot of brush or other materials that could ignite right next to your home."

With fires already an issue over the last month, McCrady is hoping the rain starts improving conditions so a repeat of 2011 does not happen.

"We had almost an historic drought and just in the month of July, we are now right back were we started in Wildfire Danger, but this is a short term event."

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