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Gregg County lifts burn ban

By Glenn Evans
Nov. 21, 2011 at 4 a.m.

Gregg County commissioners lifted their ban on outdoor burning Monday on the recommendation of their fire marshal.

"It's wide open, there's no restrictions on it," County Judge Bill Stoudt said after commissioners added Gregg to Rusk, Upshur and other counties that have lifted fire bans in recent days. "We just ask everybody to be extremely careful and cautious. If we have a rash of fires that start getting out of control, we can reinstate it as quickly as we removed it."

Fire Marshal David Kidder told commissioners that rainfall the past few days has lowered the county's drought index rating sufficiently for residents to begin burning trash.

"This won't affect the drought," Kidder said. "But it does affect our burning situation. We're still in a drought all over the state. That (rain) has put some moisture back in the fuels, which makes burning safer. It's a lot better than it's been for six months."

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