Since the beginning of this week, 8 counties in east Texas have approved burn bans.  Those counties are Angelina, Marion, Upshur, Cherokee, Polk, Trinity, Henderson, and Anderson. Don't be surprised to see more East Texas red on this map in the very near future.

Texas A&M Forest Service
Texas A&M Forest Service

The extreme heat and below-normal rainfall are taking their toll across Deep East Texas.  Ever since the last part of April, our temperatures in the Pineywoods have been averaging anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees above normal.

It would be a little more tolerable if we were oppressively hot for a few days and then back to normal for a few. But, that has not been the case.  The above-normal temps have been occurring pretty much every day. 

Then, we have our situation compounded by this drought that much of East Texas has been experiencing for 2022.  The Angelina County Airport is reporting that we are nearly 10 inches below our normal rainfall for this time of the year.  Unfortunately, the short and mid-range forecasts for the Pineywoods don't show too much to be optimistic about.

Combine all these factors and you have an increasing number of burn bans being issued across the Lone Star State.  Until recently, most of the burn bans had been confined to central, south, and west Texas, but more and more local lawmakers in east Texas are adding their counties to the mix.  All totaled, more than 60% of Texas counties are under a burn ban.

It varies from county to county on how burn ban violators are prosecuted.  In most cases, if authorities catch you burning, they will tell you to extinguish the fire and warn you that a 2nd offense will result in prosecution.

Let's pray that we get some significant rainfall in the near future, especially with July 4th less than two weeks away.

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