Due to extreme conditions, Erath County Judge Tab Thompson issued an emergency burn ban early Thursday.

The ban came following a fire danger alert issued by the Texas Forest Service and is effective immediately for the entire county and will remain in effect for the next seven days.

In a letter delivered to county officials from the Texas Forest Service, Bob Koenig with the Incident Response Department explained that the state is “expecting extreme to extremely critical weather conditions over much of the state for the next three to five days, with the most extreme conditions expected on Friday.”

“As a frame of reference, these conditions (particularly Friday) are very similar to March 12, 2006, when over 800,000 acres burned in one day in the Texas panhandle,” Koenig continued. “National, state and local responders should exercise heightened awareness and be prepared for extreme fire occurrence and conditions.”

Violation of the ban, which restricts any outdoor burning, is a Class C misdemeanor.

Erath County Commissioner’s Court will meet next week and consider an order restricting all outdoor burning.