Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

June 18, 2013

Judge uses new power to rescind burn ban


— By CHRIS AGEE



County Judge David Nicklas Monday issued an order rescinding the county’s active burn ban for 72 hours.

The order was active as of 10 a.m. Monday and will expire Thursday at 10 a.m.

Nicklas was granted the authority to issue such orders by county commissioners during a recent session and this is the first time he has utilized the provision.

Following the unanimous vote to permit him to rescind a burn ban, Nicklas explained he would communicate with other county leaders before signing an order.

“Before it would happen,” he said, “I would notify all commissioners and the county fire marshal.” The sheriff’s office and local media would also be alerted to the change, he added.

County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell said Nicklas did just that, noting recent rainfall led to a reduced fire threat.

“I got about a half inch in Lone Camp,” he said, explaining “the commissioners all agreed [with Nicklas’ order], and the sheriff.”

During a June 10 session of commissioners court, Pct. 2 Commissioner Louis Ragle said allowing Nicklas to rescind a burn ban would permit residents to burn for a short time, “such as after a big rain.” Sunday evening’s storm marked the first major precipitation since that meeting.

Though some areas of the county saw rainfall higher than he measured in Lone Camp, as of Monday afternoon Harwell said he had not received any notice of significant flooding or any other problems caused by the rainfall.