TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Smith County has been lacking significant rain over the past several weeks and Fire Marshal Jay Brooks said Tuesday that residents need to “use extreme caution” when trying to burn right now.
Marshals use a scale known as the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) to measure the level of moisture in the soil and to use it as a guide when to issue a burn ban. The scale runs from 0-800, with 0 being extremely wet soil while 800 means that it is very barren.
Brooks said that Smith County over the past week has seen measurements between 585-714 over the past week, with an average around 651.
He then stated that a burn ban is typically issued when the average reaches 700.
At a Smith County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, Brooks said that he is “praying for rain” from either Marco or Laura. Rain from either would help bring down the measurement on the KBDI scale.