TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Several East Texas counties are currently under burn bans due to current weather conditions.

Active burn bans:

  • Anderson County
  • Angelina County
  • Cherokee County
  • Gregg County
  • Harrison County
  • Henderson County
  • Houston County
  • Marion County
  • Morris County
  • Nacogdoches County
  • Panola County
  • Polk County
  • Rains County
  • Rusk County
  • Sabine County
  • Shelby County
  • Smith County
  • Trinity County
  • Upshur County
  • Van Zandt County
  • Wood County

Many counties are citing the lack of rain along with extreme heat as the reason for the burn bans.

“Even with the rainfall we had in the south ends of the county, conditions have continued to deteriorate,” Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks said on July 5 when he asked for a burn ban to be enacted.

The burn ban for Smith County was unanimously voted into effect for 90 days.

The Hallsville Fire Department is urging residents to not burn in a Facebook post:

“Please don’t burn….. It’s very dry and conditions are poor. It could cost you or someone more than it’s worth. Stay hydrated and check on friends and family during this Hot weather. Stay safe and blessed.”

Hallsville Fire Department.

Jacksonville Fire Marshall Jeremy Pate has also stated that “grass is crispy, it’s dying, and it’s easy to spread with the wind that we have… You also gotta be careful about throwing cigarette butts out on the road. I understand it’s a common thing to do, but we’ve had several fires start in the past because of that.”

Pate added that brief showers will not “nullify” the burn bans, saying that “we have to get a sufficient amount of rain to make up for the dryness that it is, to make it safe.”

Burn bans prohibit all outdoor burning. According to Texas A&M Forest Service, those who violate burn bans could be fined up to $500. Officials say that residents should not make campfires or burn trash, wood or other items during a burn ban.