Fire officials say there is not enough rain to burn, burn bans remain in place

Fire officials say there is not enough rain to burn, burn bans remain in place

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Firefighters in east Texas have responded to dozens of illegal burns Friday.

Only .2 inches of rain has driven Smith County residents to burn.

This coming from the Smith County Sheriff's office who say they've received several calls today for citizens who are illegally burning their trash and brush.

"If we are going to start busting some of these burn bans, we are going to need a lot more than just two or three-tenths of an inch," Chief Meteorologist Mark Scirto said.

Scirto said the amount of rain Smith and surrounding counties have seen is only enough to cover the top layer of the ground.

"You still have so much underneath and so much and so much below that remains dry, we need to get rain over a two or three-day period that produces two to three or four inches of rain where it soaks from top to bottom," Scirto said.

Around noon today, firefighters responded to an illegal burn in someone's backyard; just inches away from a pasture full of horses.

There are rain chances in the forecast for this weekend but according to Mark, it won't be enough.

"I think we could see an additional half inch maybe an inch and a half total from now until Sunday," Scirto says.

The fine for illegal burning is up to $500 in Smith County. This includes the use of all fireworks; all tobacco products which are discarded, still burning; the use of burn barrels, fire pits, and campfires.

The "order prohibiting outdoor burning" prohibits all outdoor burning for 90 days unless the restrictions are terminated earlier.

The ban in Smith County was enacted August 3rd.

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