After having it off for quite some time, Palo Pinto County's burn ban was reinstated Tuesday by the commissioners court.
Although Palo Pinto County Fire Chief Gary Lee said the outdoor conditions were favorable to leave the burn ban off, County Judge Shane Long said the low tank levels and water pressure in the city of Mineral Wells and the surrounding area are cause for concern.
“With the lack of water right now, it’s probably just safer to have it on,” Long said at Tuesday’s meeting. “Where does the water come from for half of Palo Pinto County geographically and 75% of the population? It all comes from Lake Palo Pinto, down Palo Pinto Creek to Brazos, and from Brazos up one line to Mineral Wells. Then it goes from there to the seven water districts that buy water from Mineral Wells.”
Palo Pinto County Sheriff Brett McGuire added that there was already one burn that got out of control Tuesday morning.
The burn ban has remained off in the county for quite some time and Lee said there are two days with a good chance of rain later this week.
“It seems like all the way around it might be good just to go ahead and put the burn ban on and then reevaluate it on Sunday or Thursday if we get rain,” Long said. “With the information that I’m getting from the city of Mineral Wells, we’re in pretty good shape right now, but that could absolutely change minute-by-minute.”
The court unanimously approved placing the county on a burn ban.