Commissioners cite the lack of rain recently

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Commissioner's Court during a special meeting on Friday extended the burn ban for two weeks, permitting only limited controlled agricultural burning because of the dry conditions, county officials said.

In order to burn for agricultural reasons, the agency or individual must fill out an authorization form with the county for permission to burn.

"Out of necessity we have to allow it," Commissioner Precinct 1 Zenaida Sanchez said.

Restricted agricultural burning may happen with a permit issued by the respective commissioner and following all requirements and regulations authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, county officials said.

County Judge L. Arnoldo Saenz said because of the dry conditions, the burn ban needed to continue.

"(We) determined that drought conditions still exit within the county and finds that circumstances present in all or parts of the county create a public safety hazard that would be exacerbated by outdoor burning," Saenz said.

And with the New Year approaching, Saenz urges residents to be careful with their fireworks.

"Even though (residents) are celebrating we still have a ban on prohibited fin fireworks because of the dry conditions."