TYLER — Smith County Judge Joel Baker has issued a burn ban for Smith County, effective immediately, due to extremely dry conditions. The burn ban is effective for seven days, and may be renewed upon review of conditions next Thursday. “We have been monitoring the situation closely and have determined that a burn ban is necessary. Many factors are considered prior to the issuance of a burn ban, and I always consult with the County Fire Marshal in evaluating the issuance of such an order,” Judge Baker said.
Factors in determining the need for a burn ban include:
· The Keetch-Byram Drought Index
· The current temperature, humidity, and wind speed
· The weather forecast
“We also consider the type and volume of calls for emergency services concerning fires,” Judge Baker added.
The current drought index is 654, and the county historically issues burn bans when it is at or near 700. Unusually high temperatures, lack of rainfall and low moisture levels have contributed to need for a ban to be issued.