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August 14, 2012

Burn ban extended to Sept. 21

WEATHERFORD —  

Parker County commissioners have extended the county-wide ban on outdoor burning — set to expire Aug. 22 — to Friday, Sept. 21, in an effort to reduce wildfires, which are escalating in nearby counties.

Judge Mark Riley and commissioners George Conley, Craig Peacock and Dusty Renfro voted in favor of extending the ban. Commissioner John Roth was absent.

Dry conditions have continued to worsen since the court first issued the ban July 23, with the Keetch-Byram Drought Index increasing from a county-wide average of 615 to 696, with an 800 maximum.

Rain showers haven’t had much impact, County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott said, and little rainfall is projected through the end of the year. 

“The Parker County Wildland Task Force has responded to the fires in Palo Pinto County for the last three days,” Scott wrote in an update for the court. “Parker County departments also responded to a 300-acre fire in Hood County.”

According to an Aug. 12 press release on Governor Rick Perry’s website, Perry recently released two CH-47 Chinook helicopters with 1,600-gallon bambi buckets to assist the 14 fire departments that have been fighting the wildfires in Palo Pinto County.

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