Judge lifts Victoria County burn ban
By MELISSA CROWE - VICTORIA ADVOCATE
Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
Updated Jan. 8, 2012 at 7:09 p.m.
With the uptick in ground moisture levels across the county, County Judge Don Pozzi temporary lifted the burn ban Monday.
Pozzi said the ban will be on the agenda for next Monday's commissioners court meeting in case any changes need to be made.
The ban will remain open for one week with some guidelines set: • Do not leave any burn unattended.
• Have equipment to combat the burn should it get out of hand.
• Contact the fire marshal before burning.
• If the burn is inside a barrel, calling the fire marshal is not necessary.
"There's not an individual on this court who likes the burn ban," Pozzi said after the meeting. "Our intention has always been to lift it as soon as possible."
According to the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, that measures drought from zero, no drought, to 800, extreme drought, the majority of Victoria County is listed between 600 and 700, with areas in the 500 to 600 range.
Monday's rainfall will be calculated in Tuesday's index report.
Pozzi said he expects Tuesday's index to be below 600.
"The bottom line is, even last week, some areas of the county are close to where we could lift it," Pozzi said. "But we will not hesitate to reinstate it."
County Fire Marshal Ron Pray said since the ban has been in place, his office has fielded between 60 and 70 calls a day asking about the ban.
He said lifting the ban is about balancing the needs of the community with maintaining safety.