Digital Exclusive: Drought enacts burn ban in Ector County

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ECTOR COUNTY (YourBasin) – After multiple fires across Ector County, commissioners pass a burn ban order.

Many days of 100-degree heat keeping the Basin dry, Odessa Fire Rescue has been concerned about the weather.

“With the high heat that we’ve had recently, obviously it becomes a little harder. Our grass fires seem to be increasing but also the workload on our individuals when they are out there working in this heat,” says Assistant Fire Chief Saul Ortega.

According to city officials, three fires broke out around Odessa yesterday.

“I looked at the TBDI map and Ector County is extremely dry,” says Ector County Commissioner Dale Childers.

In the graph above, drought conditions dominate the Basin area. Meteorologist Derek Sibley states any level of drought is enough to cause fire weather concerns.

“Most of the dry weather conditions we have been seeing are all thanks to a very strong upper level high pressure system that just continues to influence our weather in west Texas,” states Sibley.

With that high pressure system raised the concerns and placing a 90 day burn ban for the county.

As a retired Odessa firefighter, Commissioner Childers brings a unique prospective for the county.

With multiple fires caused by fireworks over the Fourth of July playing a factor in the decisions, the major factors in play for Childers are the dryness and heat. But, after seeing fire sparked by human error, is it a bit too late to implement it?

“There’s several factors that determine that. I wouldn’t say it’s too late. I think it was a good thing they passed that and it’s certainly going to help us out,” says Ortega.

And, with no rain chances insight says Sibley, some relief from those 100-degree weather is on the way.

“The good thing is that high pressure system is eventually going to move to the north,” says Sibley.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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