Monday, Palo Pinto County commissioners re-instated a 90-day burn ban. Less than predicted rainfall amounts over the weekend and continued drought led to the decision. "I was kind of on the fence today," Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell told commissioners. "We have two grass fires going right now." Harwell told commissioners that the fire index average for the county was 575, with the highest number at 646 on a scale of 800. The higher the number, the drier. "I'd like to ask we put it back on," he added. The order prohibits the burning of brush/tree piles when clearing land, trash, yard debris or any other activities not specified as permitted. In addition, the order prohibits the use and launching of sky lanterns and any form of aerial luminaries. The order does not prohibit outdoor burning activities when used solely for recreational and noncommercial preparation of food or exclusively as a means to provide warmth in cold weather (e.g.: campfires and cooking fires) and outdoor cooking on gas fired or charcoal grills. Outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Natural Resources Commission for fire-fighting training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; planting or harvesting of agricultural crops; or burns that are conducted by a certified prescribed burn manager are not affected. A violation is a Class "C" misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

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