Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom and Fire Marshal Andy Endsley issued an order Tuesday morning which officially lifted the burn ban for Hopkins County, following several days of with appreciable rain which moved the county from very high/severe fire danger range to very low fire danger range on drought and predictive indexes.
The Hopkins County burn ban was enacted by Hopkins County County Commissioners Court on July 11, 2022, as drought conditions spread across the area, worsening, resulting in rapidly spreading fires across dead grass and vegetation. Sulphur Springs received only 0.53 of an inch of rain during the entire month of July, when temperatures peaked at 106 on July 20, 2022, and the monthly average temperature was 99.9 degrees. All outdoor burning, except cooking in a covered grill was banned. Those welding in construction trades were required to file paperwork notifying county officials when and where they would be working, and have a spotter and take precautions should a spark ignite. No burning was allowed in a trash barrel even with a covered grill was allowed during the ban.
From 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, Sulphur Springs received just over 5 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service and NOAA. With 30-60% chances of rain predicted every day for the next 9 days, the threat of serious fire danger is down to low, and likely to stay in the low fire danger range. The clouds and potential rain are also expected to keep temperatures below 90 degrees for the next 10 days for the first time in about 2 months.
The amount of rainfall has made travel on some low roads difficult, especially those near creeks, lakes and rivers. Some school official reported buses having difficulties Monday morning getting down some county roads to reach students due to the water on roads.
Those traveling are reminded to be caution when approaching roads with water on them, especially those near bodies of water — including roads across and around Cooper Lake State Park and the Sulphur Sulphur River.
When traveling on wet roads, motorists should adjust speed appropriately in order to avoid hydroplaning off the roadway, potentially into higher water or vegetation.
Local officers responded to calls in which vehicles were reported to have slid off of State Highway 154 south near Restlawn Cemetery in a tree at 12:33 p.m. Monday (no one was reported to have sustained major personal injuries), Interstate 30 west at mile marker 119 at 7:21 a.m. Monday, hydroplaned into a guardrail on I-30 west at mile marker 119 at 2:29 p.m. Sunday and a rollover on I-30 west at mile marker 125 at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.
County Road 2329 in Como was reported to be washed out at 9:41 a.m. Monday. A tree also was reported to have fallen on a power line on County Road 4763, knocking out the power just before 5 p.m. Sunday, and debris had to be removed from State Highway 11 east at FM 2560 at 2:08 a.m. Monday.
With the large amount of rainfall experienced across the region, the county officials issued the order around 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, officially lifting all burning restrictions for Hopkins County.