Cooke County officials held off on declaring a burn ban this week, deciding to keep an eye on conditions instead.
County commissioners took no action at their meeting Monday, Aug. 12, after some discussion about whether a burn ban was needed.
“Based on our current conditions, I don’t think we’re at the point quite yet where we need to implement a burn ban, but I think it’s something we definitely need to be aware of and urge caution for all residents to not burn if they don’t have to,” Fire Marshal Ray Fletcher told commissioners at the meeting.
Residents who do need to burn something should take appropriate safety measures, he added.
So far this month, Gainesville has received nine-tenths of an inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service. Jason Dunn, a meteorologist with the NWS Fort Worth office, noted that’s “a touch above normal” for the month.
“August is usually pretty dry,” he said. In July, the city received 1.33 inches, a little more than an inch below normal, Dunn said.
The area might get some rain Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 13, and overnight into Wednesday, Dunn said Monday afternoon. A 30 percent chance of rain in the afternoon was forecast to reach 50 to 60 percent during the overnight hours.
“It’s going to really be just the one shot for rain,” Dunn said. “We’ve got a weak front coming down — it’s not going to be a washout by any means, but at least some rain chances.”
The rest of the week will be dry, he added.
The weather service has issued an excessive heat watch for Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 13. On Tuesday, high temperatures for the region are expected to remain at or above 100 degrees with the heat index potentially rising above 110 due to the high temperatures and expected humidity, according to the watch notice.
Wednesday and Thursday should be cooler, Dunn said, with temperatures in the mid-90s. “Then we’ll start to warm back up through the end of the week with no rain chances.”
The year’s high temperature reached 99 degrees in Gainesville on Aug. 7 and again Saturday, Aug. 10, Dunn said.
County commissioners last year instituted a burn ban July 23 until lifting the ban Aug. 13.