April rain total second driest in 90-year history

The month of April ended Wednesday and will go down in the record books as the second driest April in the last 90 years. Only in 1920 when no rainfall was recorded for the entire month was there less moisture than this most recent month. With an official recorded total of 0.03 inch of rain for the entire month, the unusually dry month officially puts the Heart of Texas in a rainfall defecit by more than two inches for the year. The average amount of rain through the month of April historically has been 6.20 inches. With 4.17 inches recorded to date, Brady has dropped more than two inches back in the monthly average. Judging by rainfall records dating back to 1913, there is no pattern for the month of May. Several years had months of May with substantially more rainfall, others had the same or just slightly more than average. The dry weather has already had a visible effect on grass fire activity in the area. In the last week alone, the Brady Fire Department has responded to five grass fires in various portions of the county. “The dryness of the ground was most evident in one of our most recent grass fires when we found that the grass was actually being burned down to the roots several inches underground,” said Lt. Randy Rankin with the Brady Fire Department. “The lack of rain is quickly becoming a concern throughout the area.” Rankin reiterated several facts recently convey to him and other department personnel during a training session hosted by Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) concerning outdoor burning. “TCEQ essentially had outlawed all outdoor burning with special exceptions,” said Rankin. “This is nothing that is new, but the organization is becoming more stringent with their rules and regulations. “With exceptions for things such as firefighter training, recreation (campfires) prescribed burns, controlled burns, disposal and land clearing and fires for cooking and warmth, outdoor burning is prohibited according to TCEQ’s handbook,” said Rankin. The state-issued handbook contains requirements as implemented by TCEQ (formally TNRCC) for all outdoor burning. “Right now we are in a high fire danger,” said Rankin. “We need the public’s assistance in making sure no fire get out of control. If anyone is going to be doing any burning, we are asking them to please contact the Brady police and fire departments first so we can be aware of the situation. “If anyone has any questions about outdoor burning, they can call us and if we are unable to answer their questions, we can put them in touch with the proper authorities.”

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