Advocate editorial board opinion: Please comply with county burn ban

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 7, 2011 at 5:07 a.m.

Our rainfall a couple of weeks ago helped put moisture back in the ground for a brief lifting of the Victoria County burn ban - a little more than a weekend.

But since the Victoria County Commissioners Court reinstated the burn ban, the Keetch-Byrum Drought Index - on average - has been on the rise about two or three points a day, according to Victoria County Fire Marshal Ron Pray.

As of Monday evening, the index reading was 633. An 800 reading is completely dry.

And rain promised over the weekend failed to fall. Rain remains a possibility for another day or so. But a cold front could drive the drought index upward.

"Actually, with cold fronts, the wind increases considerably. And moisture in plant material goes down - it draws moisture out of the plants," Pray said.

Pray said more dead grass also would be the result of colder weather, as well as more frequent red flag and elevated fire damage warnings.

Pray said he's issued five or six tickets since last Monday.

"A lot of people have been complying and are being careful. They need to continue to do that," Pray said.

"Unfortunately, the drought is expected to last," he added.

Pray advises residents to find alternative ways to get rid of trash and brush. He suggested the county dump, recycling center, mulching or contracting to have it hauled off would be some different ways to discard the trash and brush.

"If you don't have to burn, don't burn," he warned.

Pray said residents can call his office anytime to hear the latest on the burn ban. The phone number is 361-579-9103. Pray also said he has a list of welders who are making burn barrels that comply with the law - they have five-eighth inch openings in the screen. Just call to find out where you can get a barrel.

"If you must burn, do it legally," he said.

We agree. Please avoid burning. The result could cause you a lot of damage, as well as an expense to pay for damage to your neighbor's property.

We certainly hope for rain, but the prospects are slim. We need to prepare for a continued drought, be safe and obey the burn ban.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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