The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

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November 25, 2012

Dry autumn season so far

The fall season has been a dry one so far.

Local drought numbers are increasing daily, as does the threat of fire with any gust of wind.

Majors Field, the City of Greenville Municipal Airport and a monitoring site utilized by the National Weather Service, has recorded no rainfall during November. Only about two inches fell locally last month, although Greenville usually receives about nine inches of precipitation between October and November.

As such, some locations in Hunt County were reported under significant drought conditions going into the weekend.

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index measures soil moisture. A reading of 800 is the highest on the scale, meaning that it would take eight or more inches of rainfall to bring the soil to saturation.

As of Friday, the county’s readings under the index ranged from 457 to 642, with an average across the county of 571.

Hunt County and the surrounding counties were placed under “high” or “very high” fire danger conditions Friday, due to the dry conditions and winds gusting to up to 25 miles per hour.

Elevated fire danger conditions may be called for again today, as the National Weather Service forecast is calling for a high temperature in the 70s, with winds gusting again and with a slight chance of thunderstorms.

Hunt County is not currently under a burn ban, although there are still certain restrictions to outdoor burning.

The burning of household trash is only permissible during daylight hours and the wind speed cannot be greater then 23 mph.

Natural materials, such as brush and limbs can be burned, but not treated or painted lumber. No prohibited material — including but not limited to rubber, plastics, wire, insulation and furniture — can be burned, and a responsible person must be present during active burning.

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