Burn Bans In Effect For Angelina And Nacogdoches Counties

Hot and dry conditions throughout East Texas have now prompted officials in both Angelina and Nacogdoches counties to enact a burn ban.

As the East Texas sun beats down, not only do people need to take precautions with themselves and with their lawns, they also must remember that conditions right now are highly favorable for grass and woods fires.

"What we have is the vegetation is really getting baked in the summer sun, and it's losing a lot of moisture out of it, so even the green vegetation -- now a lot of that is ready to burn. So the fire danger is rising up to critical levels, maybe not as extreme as it could be, but it's headed there rapidly," says Mahlon Hammetter with the Texas Forest Service.

As of Tuesday, Angelina and Nacogdoches counties finally joined the nine other counties in our viewing area that have enacted a burn ban. So, why the wait?

"We didn't feel, under the advice from the Texas Forest Service -- and that's where we're getting our advice -- we didn't feel it was necessary until we met this morning," said Nacogdoches County Commissioner Charlie Simmons.

Angelina County Judge Joe Berry says you also have to consider other issues as well.

"There's an economic reason that goes behind this, too, 'cause you've got people who are clearing land, got people clearing lots for houses, and have a legitimate need to burn brush and debris and all, and it kind of puts them in a position because some of them have contracts to get these jobs completed."

For things to get back to where we should be, it'll take more than just a few pop-up showers.

"[A] couple inches of soaking rain spread out over a couple of days there would sure help things green back up again," says Hammetter.