Burn ban revoked? Decision to come Tuesday

According to Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan, county officials will likely lift the existing burn ban during Tuesday morning's meeting of the commissioners court, marking the first time in more than a year-and-a-half since the Crossroads hasn't been under such a ban.Sullivan said considerable rain showers — not to mention snowfalls, which just recently melted off — have at least temporarily slaked the thirst in the county's brushlands, giving local land owners a much-needed window to perform some upkeep.“The judge has the ability to drop the burn ban at any time, without it being an item on the agenda's meeting,” Sullivan said. “I spoke with him Friday and we both agreed the local land owners need a chance to get out there and do some controlled burns and perform some upkeep on their property while the conditions are as good as they are right now. Doing so is absolutely essential to keeping down the dangers of wildfires in the immediate future, and we don't know when we'll get an opportunity like this again, so we have to take advantage now.“Unless we get some more rainfall, what we've received here recently will last us for the next 20 to 30 days. After that, we'll basically be back in the same situation we were in before,” he said gravely. “In the meantime, the biggest challenge we face is the high winds. Those, along with the gusts, will still make for some pretty nasty conditions. I'd still advise against burning trash or welding. Whether or not there's a burn ban in place, it's just not worth the chance of something going wrong.”Tuesday's meeting of the commissioners court is slated to get under way at 10 a.m. in the commissioners courtroom, located on the third floor of the county courthouse.