orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

September 18, 2013

Burn ban in the future?

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Commissioners Court is keeping an eye on the drought situation in the Orange County area.

Director of Emergency Management Jeff Kelley said the numbers were increasing on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index when Commissioner Pct. 1 David Dubose asked if the county could be facing a burn ban.

“If there is no rain in the next two weeks,” Kelley said. “A ban could be on the radar.”

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index on Sept. 16 showed most or the county at 600-700 with areas in the north east part of the county at 700-800. The higher the number the greater the increase for the need to ban burning in the area.

Currently, 96% of state is affected by drought conditions.

The remainder of 2013 indicates that drought conditions will persist throughout most of Texas with slight improvements in the Panhandle and east Texas regions.

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles issued a press release stating, ‘A cold front is expected to move down into our region this weekend. The cold front, however, has the potential to bring us some much needed widespread rain.’

The court approved the paying of the bills for a total of $478,849.60 including two payments to Maverick Communications for the County portion for the Orange County Convention and Expo Center.

“I noticed there are higher than normal expenditures,” Commissioner Pct. 4 Jody Crump said. “We ask the elected officials to work with us.  Things are tight.”

The court also approved the Orange County civil process fees to remain the same as last year. The fees must be set by Commissioners Court according to Local Government Code 118.131.