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HENDERSON COUNTY ISSUES 30 DAY BURN BAN

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HENDERSON COUNTY–Commissioners’ Court of Henderson County voted June 21 to impose a 30-day burn ban on the recommendation of County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg, who consulted with 22 volunteer fire chiefs across the county, all of whom favored the ban, he said.
Renberg told the court the Keetch-Byram Drought Index for the county averaged 566 and is increasing 9-13 points per day. The fire marshal said 575 is the threshold for considering a burn ban, which most of the county is “well over,” he stated.
Other data points around the county ranged from a low of 409 near Seven Points to a high of 633 in the southeast part of the county, Renberg said. “It’s not the frequency of the fires right now that I’m worried about, it’s how fast they’re spreading,” Renberg told the court.
“It’s just a bad time right now and I’d really love to get ahead of the game and go ahead and get a burn ban in place,” said Renberg, who compared this year to another scorching summer in 2011 that had multiple wildfires.
“I try hard not to go just off of Keetch-Byram because keep in mind that’s talking about the moisture in the soil,” Renberg said. “I’m speaking to you mainly today about fuel load on top of the soil that I’m concerned about.”
The burn ban can be dropped by the county judge’s office, County Judge Wade McKinney confirmed to the court. The burn ban does not affect fireworks or grilling food outside, the county fire marshal said. “You just can’t burn your trash or have open-pit flames,” said Renberg, who added that agriculture-related burning is still allowed with a permit through his office.
In other business, the court:
• Approved applying for the fiscal year 2022 Bulletproof Vest Partnership, which County Grant Coordinator Jessica Brown said would in 2024-25 replace about 50 vests that will be out of warranty.
• Approved a grant administration service contract and required Texas Community Development Block Grant start-up forms for GrantWorks to continue managing a water system expansion project for the Crescent Heights Water Supply Corp. (WSC), Brown said.
• Approved an interlocal agreement between the City of Malakoff and Henderson County relating to County Road 1705 (known as Country Lane) and County Road 1400, both of which have portions under Malakoff’s jurisdiction that the county will maintain, Precinct 1 Commissioner Wendy Spivey said.
• Approved a right-of-way permit for Oncor Electric Delivery to continue work on County Road 1200, in Precinct 1.
• Approved a right-of-way permit for Crescent Heights WSC to extend a water line along County Road 1220, in Precinct 1.
• Approved the payment of May sales tax bills in the amount of $1,561.55.
• Approved the payment of fiscal year 2022 bills in the amount of $435,554.54.