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Within two days, East Texas goes from having two counties that enacted burn bans to now having seven counties that have orders against any kind of outdoor burning, and it's expected that more counties will be announcing similar burn bans soon too.

Tuesday, Henderson County and Upshur County in Texas issued thirty-day notices that any kind of outdoor burning was no longer permitted within the county due to extremely dry conditions in East Texas.

Just as wildfires can spread rapidly, the announcement from other East Texas counties about burn bans spread just as quickly. It is now prohibited to do any kind of outdoor burning in any of the following counties:

East Texas

Deep East Texas

These burn bans can last anywhere from 10 to 90 days depending upon the county.

Why were so many burn bans issued all of a sudden?

The extreme heat and below-normal rainfall amounts are the driving factors behind the bans. Having temps in the high 90s and 100s for a prolonged period is just evaporating whatever moisture is left in the ground leaving behind extremely dry conditions.

How much of Texas is under a burn ban?

Texas has 254 counties and more than half of those counties are under some sort of burn ban. Currently (June 22nd), 157 counties have restrictions in place against any kind of outdoor burning, while 97 do not, according to Texas A&M Foresty Service. It is recommended though that if you plan on doing any kind of outdoor burning you do it with extreme caution and constantly monitor the flames.

Those who violate burn ban orders could face fines.

While enforcement and penalties vary from county to county, according to Texas A&M Forest Service, violators could be fined up to $500.

The bottom line is if your county is under a burn ban - just don't do any outdoor burning. If there is no burn ban in effect for your county use extreme caution if you need to do any outdoor burning. Make sure you have an adequate water supply to extinguish any fire or some way to put it out and do not burn on windy days. Just use common sense and be safe because fires can grow quickly and get out of hand easily.

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