Number of burn bans increases as the dry weather persists

Number of burn bans increases as the dry weather persists

WEBSTER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Burn ban flags were flying high across Webster Parish on Tuesday.

They are a constant reminder that no burning is allowed.

On Sunday, the Webster Parish Police Jury issued a burn ban for the entire parish.

The map below shows every parish and county in the ArkLaTex that is under a burn ban as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Over the past 60 days, most of the area has seen only 2 to 4 inches of rain, which is less than half what is typical for that time frame.

The map below shows the 60-day observed rainfall totals in the ArkLaTex.

The light green color, which is what most of the area is under, represents 2 to 4" of rain.

Keep in mind, 2 to 4" of rain is not even half of what typically would have fallen during that same time frame.

The map below shows the percentage of normal rainfall over the past 60 days.

Most of the area is between 25% and 50% (orange), while some areas - mainly across parts of Northwest Louisiana and Southwest Arkansas - haven't even seen a quarter of the amount of rain they normally would.

With dry weather comes dried, dead grass, which is a great fuel for fire.

"The grass gets so dry, it has a higher combustion point and it doesn't take much to ignite," said Terry Gibson, assistant fire chief for Webster Parish Fire District 8.

Many fires are started by people being careless.

"Most of the time, it could be ... flicking cigarettes outside their window or just outdoor burning," Gibson said.

But cigarettes and such are not the only fire hazards this time of year.

Gibson urges every one to check their holiday decorations before hanging them.

Look for frayed or bare wires.

With our next decent chance of rain not coming until next week, more burn bans likely will be issued.

Right now, the Climate Prediction Center's precipitation outlook for Dec. 4-8 favors wet weather.

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