HARDIN COUNTY, Texas — Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel announced Tuesday that the declaration of disaster due to severe drought conditions in the area, which also includes a restriction of outdoor burning, will continue.
The Hardin County Commissioners court met in regular session Tuesday, July 26 and decided to extend the burn ban for 30 days, unless terminated sooner by the court or county judge, according to a news release from Hardin County.
This order was first placed July 20 after consultation with the Hardin County Office of Emergency Management, Texas A&M Forest Service, and National Weather Service – Lake Charles, plus formal requests from fire chiefs throughout Hardin County.
The Texas A&M Forest Service’s fire potential update to Hardin County says continuing hot and dry conditions will continue to dry out surface fuels and increase the fire danger, according to the release.
One NWS – Lake Charles meteorologist told Judge McDaniel that prior to issuing the order on July 20, Hardin County had seen 2 to 5 inches of rain, which is 50% to 75% of normal, with trends getting drier.
They also said the county had seen less than a tenth of an inch of rain which is only 5-10% of normal. This drier trend looks to hold into early August, according to the release.
Judge McDaniel says this declaration of disaster and order restricting outdoor burning will continue until rescinded.
A violation of this order is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500, according to the release.
From a Hardin County news release:
In consultation with the Hardin County Office of Emergency Management, Texas A&M Forest Service, and National Weather Service – Lake Charles, and after having received formal requests from nearly every Fire Chief throughout Hardin County, I am issuing a Declaration of Disaster due to severe drought conditions which exist throughout Hardin County and are expected to continue into August. This Declaration also includes an Order Restricting Outdoor Burning, effective immediately. Drought conditions in Hardin County have existed for the past few months. Rainfall received just prior to the Independence lowered our KBDI (Keetch-Byram Drought Index) average enough to delay this action. However, with little to no rainfall since then, and due to the excessive heat over the past week, drought conditions have continued to deteriorate and there is no relief in sight. The Texas A&M Forest Service’s most recent Fire Potential Update to Hardin County states, “Continuing hot and dry conditions will continue to dry out surface fuels and increase the fire danger.” I received the following update from the NWS – Lake Charles Meteorologist In Charge late last night, “In the past 30 days, Hardin County has seen 2 to 5 inches of rain, which is 50% to 75% of normal. However, the trend has been getting drier. In the past 7 days, Hardin County has seen less than a tenth of an inch of rain which is only 5-10% of normal. This drier trend looks to hold into early August.” This Declaration of Disaster and Order Restricting Outdoor Burning will continue until rescinded.