Showers falling across Wharton County Tuesday morning may have staved off a burn ban. If not, the rest of the week’s soggy forecast should take care of the concern.

Wharton County’s average on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index or KBDI sat at 470 Monday, dangerously close to the 500 when a ban on rural outdoor burning is automatically put in place by commissioners.

The KBDI is a zero to 800 scale used by the Texas Forest Service to measure moisture missing from the soil. In general, every 100 points on the scale means the ground needs a one-inch slow, steady rain to become soggy.

“Some parts of the county are close. I’ve said that three times and three times the good Lord has blessed us with rain,” County Judge Phillip Spenrath said at the last commissioner’s court session.

The National Weather Service calls for showers and less than scorching temperatures throughout the week.

Rain is expected to be light with less than an inch and a half falling throughout the week, although isolated areas could see far more, according to NOAA projections.

Wharton County has not needed a burn ban so far in 2020.

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