Burn ban delayed by rain
A countywide burn ban during summer fire season may be on the way.
Commissioners discussed the possibility in regular session Monday, but ultimately took no action.
“I think we’ll have to do it [eventually], and I think we’re right at that point,” said Jeff Kelley, emergency management coordinator.
Kelley’s office recently sent queries to area fire departments, he said, and only one had responded so far.
“Apparently no one is overloaded right now,” he said.
Tropical Storm Dolly may bring a few inches of rain to Orange County, but not the significant amount projected for areas such as Corpus Christi, he said. (editor’s note: Dolly is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane later this week.)
Looking beyond the storm, he added, “I [do] believe we’re in for a real bad fire season.”
Since commissioners only meet once a week, County Judge Carl Thibodeaux has the authority to call a ban at anytime based on official information he receives.
If that were to happen, commissioners would vote at their next meeting to continue or lift the ban.
“Unless something dramatically changes, I believe we’re good for another week,” Kelley said.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Owen Burton, commenting on sporadic rain activity of late, said, “In Mauriceville, you’ll see water in the ditches from recent rains, then where I live, which is five miles away, there’s nothing.”
In other business, Patrick Beebe, mosquito control director, said newly-hired spray pilot Patrick Borke had taken the county plane up for a test ride and performed a leak-check on a spray system.
Barring anything unforseen, spray flights could begin in October.
Tim Williams was given a 30-day extension to clean up his Scott Street property in Vidor. Thibodeaux said Williams has kept the judge’s office updated and asked Williams to continue that; e-mailing him photographs to detail the progress.