By RANDY GONZALES
The Ellis County Commission declared a state of local disaster emergency for the county at Monday’s regular meeting. Commissioners also approved another resolution, which keeps in effect indefinitely the declaration’s ban on all outside burning in the county.
With the signing of the disaster emergency declaration, all outdoor burning no longer is permitted. This includes trash barrels, fire pits, trash pits, ornamental fire chimneys, fields and any other form of open burning.
Dry conditions persist in the county, which during the day Monday was part of a red flag warning, which is issued when there is a critical grassland fire danger. The county also is part of a wind advisory for Tuesday, with winds expected to be 30 to 45 miles per hour and gusting to 55 miles per hour.
Ellis County also had a string of as many as 15 suspicious fires this month. In addition, there were three more fires deemed suspicious Saturday. One grass fire Saturday covered approximately 1,200 acres in northern Ellis County.
Those fires are under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department.
More in Tuesday's HDN.