The Erath County commissioners met Thursday morning and unanimously voted to enact a 90-day burn ban starting immediately.

“It’s really dangerous out there as far as fires are concerned,” Thompson said in an interview last week. “We can take it off if we start getting some rain.”

The 90 day burn ban includes all outdoor burning and restrictions set for welding with an exception to using cooking appliances, such as a grill with a lid, for preparing food.

“Violation of this ordinance restricting any outdoor burning is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500,” states a release from Thompson’s office.

As of Friday morning, Erath County's rating on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index had risen from last week to the 600-700 range, second highest on the scale found on the Texas A&M Forest Service website.

“Wildfires will show extreme intensity,” the website states about the 600-700 drought range. “Deep-burning, intense wildfires with significant spotting can be expected. This is often associated with severe drought.”

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