Wichita County Commissioner not expecting burn ban

Wichita County Commissioner not expecting burn ban

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It hasn’t felt like it much this month but Texoma is in the middle of its cold season and as the winter continues, dry conditions also continue for most Texoma counties.

Burn bans currently exist for a few Texoma counties. With these dry conditions present, our crews caught up with a Wichita County Commissioner to see if a Wichita County burn ban is coming anytime soon.

“The board watches the burn situation very closely," Wichita County Commissioner Barry Mahler. “I certainly do because I am a rural land owner and even though the conditions are heading in that direction I would say right now we do not meet the requirements for a burn ban.”

"I’m hoping for some rain but we will be watching it closely day by day to see where we are and it sure could come in the future if rain doesn’t show up,” Mahler said.

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index shows mid-range drought conditions across Texoma but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fires.

“The KBDI may be down right now to where we aren’t in a burn ban, we have plenty of days with higher winds with dry conditions and those initial fuels those light fuels are gonna take off and run with it so they can be just as bad, especially on windy days where we might not be in that situation," Burnburnett VFD chief Rodney Ryalls, said. "We think we are going to continue as we go through the winter months with dry conditions.”

Conditions will have to get much worse for Wichita County to issue a burn ban.

“That index really requires a pretty severe situation to meet the numbers required to officially do it,” Mahler said.

With a decent rain in the forecast, we could see drought conditions improve.

The Oklahoma and Texas burn ban maps are available online.

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