LUBBOCK, Texas— On Wednesday night, 11 active wildfires were burning through north and central Texas, with 173 counties under burn bans. Lubbock County was one of the few in the state not under a burn ban.

The implementation of a ban will be decided by county judges and commissioners.

Precinct 1 County Commissioner Terence Kovar said, due to many factors the county doesn’t think a ban will be necessary.

According to the Drought Tolerance Index readings and recent rainfall, Kovar said the county was not as dry. 

“The score from that [Drought Tolerance Index] is 0 to 800 zero means you’re basically swampland and 800 is desert and we are sitting right now about 460,” Kovar said. 

Kovar added, plenty of assistance from the local volunteer fire departments help determine whether or not a burn ban goes into effect. He also mentioned the departments play a big part in making sure fires don’t get out of hand. 

“We have 11 fire chiefs and all 11 of them discuss these items and we discuss it with them and we’re going to go offer their recommendations,” Kovar said. 

Kovar expressed, a burn ban will most likely not go into effect anytime soon.

Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Henricks with West Carlisle Fire Department said, even without a burn ban in place, conditions can still be favorable for a fire to get out of hand.

“Especially those days where the wind’s blowing 70 miles an hour, sometimes we just can’t catch the fire. You can’t drive fast enough to catch the fire,” Henricks said. “When they’re burning, even though we’re not under a burn ban, use common sense, have water, something nearby, don’t burn next to a house or, you know, next to dry grass.”

Both Kovar and Henricks recommended to call the county sheriff’s non-emergency line when planning to burn in the county at 806-775-1600. 

For a list of counties in a burn ban, visit the Texas A&M forest services website here.