Wichita County Commissioners voted to reinstate a county-wide burn ban at their regular Monday morning meeting.
The ban was lifted on October 1st after rain and decreasing temperatures lowered the fire danger.
Even though December is often associated with cool weather and even the occasional snow, Emergency Management Coordinator Lee Bourgoin said the risk is still high. He said, "When we get a good hard freeze anything that's left that's green will, be brown and then well have 100% fuel on the ground. The ground is dry underneath the surface which makes the fire actually burn down into the ground and it's harder to put out."
County Judge Woody Gossom said the ban is necessary because of the unusually high temperatures and winds that come with this time of year. Leaves and other dead plants also provide fuel for any potential fire.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Barry Mahler expressed his worry about the continuing drought and the lack of water for fighting fires. He said, "The shortage of water in this area is very critical, water supplies are not good. You get a major wild fire going it takes lots of water. Just from a water conservation standpoint I think it's a good idea to do everything we can to prevent a wildfire from starting."
The burn ban prohibits all open flame burning in the county. As if right now, the sale of fireworks for the New Years Holiday is still on.