Thanks to a healthy amount of rain over the past few weeks, Collin County officials on Tuesday announced its 90-day outdoor burn ban has been lifted.
The ban went into effect Sept. 9 and was due to remain in place until Nov. 9, but the county fire marshal determined sooner that conditions are no longer at risk for fire. During the Collin County Commissioners Court on Monday, commissioners voted unanimously to grant the fire marshal the authority to lift court-ordered burn bans as he sees fit.
"In accordance with Texas Local Government Code section 352.081(e)(2), the Collin County Commissioners Court hereby designates the Collin County Fire Marshal for the purpose of determining when the circumstances warranting the prohibition of outdoor burning no longer exist," Monday's court order reads.
The county monitors the Keech Bryon Drought Index (KBDI) level. The KBDI (Keech Bryon Drought Index) is a way the Texas Forest Service measures drought conditions throughout Texas, according to officials. When the drought index reaches over 500 and there is no significant rainfall in sight, a burn ban is issued for unincorporated parts of the county. If significant rains begin, as has been the case recently, and the KBDI level drops during the 90-day period, the fire marshal can lift the ban.
Regardless of whether or not a person has a valid burning permit, during a burn ban all outdoor burning under the permit is not permitted. Permit holders who burn during a burn ban will have their permits revoked.
With the county’s announcement, the McKinney Fire Department (MFD) will also no longer requiring permits for outdoor hot work like welding.
“The McKinney Fire Marshal’s office thanks all our contractor partners for taking part in the permit process during a time of increased fire risk;” McKinney Fire Marshal Mike Smith said in a release. “We urge people to remain vigilant anytime fire is used outdoors.”