Our lawns, pastures and open lands are in a desperate need of rain right now. Parts of East Texas welcomed the rain yesterday, thanks to a weak cold front that passed through the area, but the little rain that fell didn't really help out the drought condition many parts of East Texas are facing. Earlier this week Hendersonn and Houston County officials placed official burn bans on their counties, which means it is illegal to do any kind of outdoor burning. According to a Longview News Journal article, Gregg County may be following suit if the county doesn't receive substantial rainfall soon.

The paper sources Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt as saying,

We’re at 668 (on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index). In the event we start having a lot of grass fires unexpectedly, we would probably clear (a ban) and not wait on the seven mark. We are in a watch-the-measurement mode."

Longview is nearly 8 inches behind on it's average rainfall according to measurements taken at the airport. The city's water supply is holding for now as the water supply is still adequate, so residents aren't facing water restrictions, yet. However, the water public works department did see an increase in water usage last month.

In the case you have to do some kind of outdoor burning, you are urged to use extreme caution and are asked to not burn in high grass or very dry conditions and to have a fire extinguisher or water source nearby to put out a fire in case it gets out of hand. Just use common sense when burning outdoors.