Mike Willow, emergency management coordinator, said, “I have been receiving quite a few phone calls from the community, and I put a survey out to the fire chiefs in Bee County.
“Most of the fire chiefs in south Bee County aren’t saying it is dry enough for a burn ban.
“But in north Bee, they are saying, ‘Oh, yes, please.’”
Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved issuing the ban on outdoor burning. The scattered showers that afternoon and later in the week were not enough to end the burn ban.
The ban does not include the burning of trash in approved, screened containers.
Typically, the county doesn’t go into a burn ban until the Keetch-Byram Drought Index reaches 575.
However, there are portions of the county that have reached 600 and 700 on the index scale.
The drought index is based on a daily water measure, where a drought factor is balanced with precipitation and soil moisture and is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil moisture depletion.
While the entire county isn’t in danger, the commissioners must issue the burn ban for the entire county and not just portions of it.
Commissioner Ken Haggard said, “If one fire department within Bee County asks for a burn ban, I think we should honor it.
“They are volunteers, and they need the help.”