KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — This morning, the Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court ordered that all outdoor burning is banned in the unincorporated area of the County for an additional 45 days, unless the restrictions are terminated earlier based on a determination made by the Texas Forest Service or this Court.

Today’s average drought index for Kaufman County is 695. Certain portions of the County are at 734. The County drought index has increased 553 points since July 1st of this year.

The Keetch-Byram Index scale goes from 0 – 800, with 800 being the worst drought possible. The Drought Index can be viewed online at: www.tamu.edu/ticc/predictive_services/drought.htm.

The Kaufman County Burn Ban includes ALL outdoor burning, including the burning of household trash in a barrel. A violation of the Burn Ban is a Class “C” misdemeanor and is punishable by fines up to $500.00.

In addition to receiving a fine of up to $500.00 for a burn ban violation, a person commits a State Jail Felony offense if that person starts a fire, and that fire damages or destroys a building belonging to another person, or causes another person to suffer bodily injury or death, including bodily injury or death of a firefighter.

The Kaufman County Fire Marshal’s Office encourages everyone to subscribe to a trash pickup service. There are several companies that offer this service throughout the county. The trash pickup service is a much safer alternative to burning and is much cheaper than the fines from a citation, or worse yet, the loss of property or injury to a person from an out of control fire.