According to a post on the Angelina County Emergency Management Facebook Page, the burn ban for Angelina County has been lifted. Recent rains throughout the county have helped lower the extreme hazards of wildfires in the region.

The Facebook post states the following:

Under the authority of County Judge Keith Wright the Burn Ban for Angelina County has been lifted. As of today (Sept 15) the Keetch-Byram Drought Index for Angelina County is an average of 533. The Index fell 99 points from yesterday bringing it well below the extreme fire danger range of over 600. This does not mean that people do not need to still be careful. There are still some places in the County that you need to be careful with fires.

What is the Keetch-Byram Index (KBDI)?

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, this is a guide that is used to determine forest fire potential. The drought index is based on a daily water balance, where a drought factor is balanced with precipitation and soil moisture and is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil moisture depletion.

The drought index ranges from 0 to 800, where a drought index of 0 represents no moisture depletion, and an index of 800 represents absolutely dry conditions. The index is derived from ground-based estimates of temperature and precipitation derived from weather stations and interpolated manually by experts at Texas A&M Forest Service (TAMFS) for counties across the state.

What the Numbers Mean

0 – 200:  Soil moisture and large-class fuel moistures are high and do not contribute much to fire intensity.

200 – 400: Fuels are beginning to dry and contribute to wildfire intensity. Heavier fuels will still not readily ignite and burn.

400 – 600: Lower litter and duff layers contribute to fire intensity and will burn actively.  Wildfire intensity begins to increase significantly.

600 – 800: Often associated with more severe drought with increased wildfire occurrence. Intense, deep-burning fires with extreme intensities can be expected.

Take a look at the KBDI map comparisons from September 15 as opposed to September 1.

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

KBDI Numbers for Deep East Texas

  • Angelina County  533 (-90)
  • Anderson County 607 (-90)
  • Cherokee County 706 (-60)
  • Houston County 707 (-49)
  • Jasper County 705 (-41)
  • Nacogdoches County 586 (-66)
  • Newton County 709 (-22)
  • Panola County 534 (-102)
  • Polk County 664 (-58)
  • Rusk County 636 (-71)
  • Sabine County 636 (-39)
  • San Augustine County 589 (-65)
  • Shelby County 557 (-51)
  • Trinity County 686 (-39)
  • Tyler County 652 (-64)

Angelina County is the only Deep East Texas County I could find that has lifted its burn ban, all others remain in place. Many commissioners' courts will be meeting this week and I'm sure burn ban continuations will be on the docket for many.

Rain chances go away after Saturday with dry conditions expected Sunday through Tuesday. Slight rain chances return to the Pineywoods by mid-week.

Damage from Hurricane Ike

A look back at the damage along Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula from Hurricane Ike. The storm was a category 2 hurricane that brought damages in excess of $30 billion. All pictures are from Getty Images.