With a low-humidity and high-wind forecast, Williamson County commissioners denied reinstating a burn ban by a 2-3 vote at their March 18 meeting.
Commissioners Lisa Birkman and Valerie Covey voted in favor of the ban.
Jarred Thomas, Office of Emergency Management coordinator, requested the burn ban be established for at least seven days.
“For the next couple of days we’re going to be in single digit humidity with high wind and extremely high temperatures for this time of year,” he said. “The ground is still wet, but we’re still not green.”
Thomas said he was only requesting a weeklong burn ban to see what the weather would do in that time. The northwest and southeast parts of the county are driest, he said.
The eastern part of the county ranked between 0 and 200 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index as of March 19, which is the wettest end of the scale. The entire county ranged from 231 to 448 with an average rating of 299, according to the KBDI.
The driest conditions measured on KBDI are between 700 and 800.
Birkman moved to instate the burn ban for one week and Covey seconded. The rest of the court voted against the action.
Commissioner Cynthia Long said she did not want to infringe on rural residents' rights to burn trash on their property.
“We’ve had recent rains, and the drought index is not that high,” she said. “The moves we make are done very judiciously. The ground is going to dry out with the wind, but it’s still pretty moist.”