Due to rainfall received in Smith County over the past few weeks, officials have taken action in canceling the recently enacted burn ban order.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Smith County lifted the county-wide burn ban that originally took effect on Friday, Aug. 3.
The original order prohibiting all outdoor burning was for a 90-day period, but provided discretion for the county’s Fire Marshal to terminate the order earlier based on a determination that the circumstances that required the order no longer existed.
When the order was put into place, Smith County’s number on the KBDI scale, used to determine forest fire potential which ranges from 0 to 800, was at 686. In the past, Smith County has issued a burn ban when the drought index falls around 700.
Smith County Fire Marshal Connie McCoy-Wasson noted that recent rainfall over the Labor Day weekend, combined with lower temperatures and the anticipation of more rain in the near future persuaded her that conditions were acceptable to resume outdoor burning.
After consulting with Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, both agreed that the ban should be lifted.
Although the burn ban order has been rescinded, McCoy-Wasson said residents still need to be responsible when it comes to burning outdoors.
“I want to caution citizens, however, about resuming outdoor burning,” said McCoy-Wasson. “It is critical that citizens are diligent in keeping watch over any controlled burns. Burn piles may be larger than normal after a burn ban, and people are sometimes lured into a false sense of security when burning after a rainfall.”
Judge Moran echoed McCoy-Wasson’s comments and noted that the county will continue to keep a close eye on the weather conditions, but that was hopeful that another burn ban would not be necessary in the foreseeable future.