County-wide burn bans in effect around lake
by David Webb
David Webb is a veteran journalist who has written for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. He is now a freelancer who lives in the Cedar Creek Lake area. He is the editor of cedarcreeklake.com. E-mail story ideas to email@example.com.
"Hot and dry" is how Texas A&M's AgriLife Today report this week described the outlook during August for the state's central agriculture region, which surrounds Cedar Creek Lake.
After weeks without rain and blistering 100-degree-plus heat baking fields and residential neighborhoods, the central region is now classified as being in a moderate drought by government climate officials.
Officials in Kaufman and Athens recently enacted county-wide burn bans in an effort to prevent the type of fires that ravaged areas in Oklahoma recently. Gun Barrel City Hall recently posted a sign advising residents of the burn ban, and other lake communities are posting similar notices.
Violation of the burn ban is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
With an at-most 20 percent chance of rain forecast for the area in the coming week, it looks unlikely that drought conditions will improve for the rest of the summer.
Fire safety officials warn residents using outdoor cooking equipment, which must be covered, to be especially careful not to let sparks ignite dry vegetation as flames can spread quickly and disastrously.
Cedar Creek Lake is now down 1.96 feet, but that seems negligible in comparison to the 8-foot drop seen last summer. So far, there has been no mention of reinstating the strict water rationing seen last year.
The lake's economy appears to be faring much better than it did last summer as weekenders continue to visit the lake to boat and fish, despite the heat.
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