Fire danger is very real in East Texas - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Fire danger is very real in East Texas

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The fire danger is still very real in East Texas. While several counties are currently under burn bans, others still haven't gone on the list, even though they've seen a few fires themselves.

Smith, Gregg, and Rusk are just a few of the counties in East Texas not currently under a burn ban, even though grass, brush, and structure fires are keeping crews busy.

With the dry conditions and high winds, some wonder why there isn't a burn ban.

Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal, Oren Hale says the current drought index isn't high enough to consider a burn ban right now.

"We normally look at---start looking, not putting a burn ban on, but start looking at around 600. Between 6 and 600, and right now, just over the weekend, we reached the 500 level," Hale explained.

Hale recommends that if you have to burn, make sure it is in an open area, that you have something to extinguish the fire on hand, it is not a windy day, and whatever you do, do not leave the fire until it burns out.

"State law says that when you start a fire, you stay with that fire until it burns out. People don't do it, people set a fire and half the fires we go on, we will trace it back to a burned pile, and there's no one home," explained Hale.

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