A county burn ban was once again on commissioners’ minds as they heard from Jeff Kelley, emergency management coordinator, during Tuesday’s session.
Although Texas Forest Service fire forecasts were in the moderate range, those figures weren’t likely to last for long, he said.

“By no means are we out of the woods as far as overall drought conditions are concerned,” he said.

As of May 31 the county was listed in the 500-600 range of the KBDI scale, two below the worst level of 700-800, however state and local officials believe that will rise over the next two weeks.

“The 14-day outlook puts us right back in the 600-700 range – where we were headed anyway,” Kelley said.

“Don’t expect a high fire danger for the next seven to 14 days … however that rain we (recently) received is not enough to break the drought.”

Airport plan update

Also Tuesday, commissioners gave Orange County Airport Manager Don Anderson approval to send a letter of interest regarding assistance to prepare a master plan update for the airport.

A 90/10 grant from the Aviation Division of the Texas Department of Transportation would net the county $80,000, with the county paying 10 percent of that – or $8,000.

Anderson said the airport has not had a master plan update since around 1989.


Commissioners also issued a proclamation recognizing Elder Abuse Prevention Month.

Cecilio Lopez, supervisor for Adult Protective Services in Orange and Jefferson counties, said that out of 70,000 calls received in Texas last year, 50,000 were confirmed cases of elderly abuse.

“There’s much under-reporting that goes on,” he told the court. “What we want to do is certainly raise awareness that elderly abuse is going on.”

To report abuse, residents can call 1-800-252-5400.

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