By Judy Sheridan
The 7-day outdoor burn ban County Judge Mark Riley authorized July 15 through an emergency order was extended by county commissioners to Aug. 26 in a special session Friday.
“We typically do this for 30 days,” the judge said, prior to the unanimous vote. “We’d like to do it for 45; that will get us to the Aug. 26 court meeting before it expires.”
Parker County has dried out rapidly in the last few weeks, Fire Marshal Shawn Scott told the court, and was shown to be in severe drought conditions by the U.S. Drought Monitor July 11.
“Our Keetch-Byram Drought Index has dried out very quickly since the first of June,” Scott said. “The National Weather Service said this year alone we need nine to 12 inches of rain just to get back to a normal state.”
Adding to the problem, he said, is the fact that the county ended 2012 with a 10-inch rainfall deficit.
The Index, which measures soil moisture, puts the county average at 527, with the west side of the county, at 577, drier than the east side, at 473.
Scott reported a slim chance of above average rainfall in the next two weeks, “which in July doesn’t amount to much anyway.”
The three-month outlook, however, shows below average rainfall and above average temperatures, he said.
The high number of holiday fire calls was “a good indicator” of the need for a burn ban, Scott said, as well as the KBDI numbers.
From 9 p.m. to midnight July 4, the fire marshal’s office reported 83 fire calls across the county, including five structure fires.
Scott said that critically dry trees, as well as dead standing vegetation lost over the last two years, are fueling dangerous and erratic fire behavior.
Violations of the burn ban are punishable by a fine of up to $500.
For more information, go to www.parkercountyemergencymanagement.com.
By Judy Sheridan
- Aledo ExtrA
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Suspicious house fire under investigation