By BRAD KELLAR
The month of March began with a moderate drought still in place in Hunt County and much of the surrounding area.
The county is about two inches behind in rainfall through the first two months of the year, and the dry conditions combined with the recent high winds have elevated the potential fire danger in the region.
Greenville received 1.28 inches of rain during the month of February. When added to the 2.91 inches of precipitation recorded locally in January, it brings the total rainfall so far during 2013 to 4.19 inches, compared to a 30-year average of 6.19 inches of rain during the time period. Still, this year’s total is better than the 3.56 inches of rainfall recorded through the first two months of 2012.
The water level on Lake Tawakoni was reported at 432.82 feet Friday evening, compared to the pool elevation of 437.5 feet.
The United States Drought Monitor, released Thursday, indicated Hunt County and the surrounding counties were listed under “moderate” drought conditions and the Texas Forest Service listed the county and most of the surrounding area Friday under “moderate” fire danger conditions.
However, the county was listed under “high” fire danger conditions earlier this week, due to winds which have continued to gust at up to 25 mph.
Hunt County is not currently under a burn ban, although there are still certain restrictions to outdoor burning. The burning of household trash is only permissible during daylight hours and the wind speed cannot be greater then 23 mph.
Natural materials, such as brush and limbs can be burned, but not treated or painted lumber. No prohibited material — including but not limited to rubber, plastics, wire, insulation and furniture — can be burned, and a responsible person must be present during active burning.