Burn bans expanded Tuesday across North Texas as Tarrant, Denton, Greyson and Hunt counties joined 13 other counties that had already implemented bans. Meanwhile, Dallas County Commissioners were briefed on plans to impose one next week.
More than three weeks without measurable rain at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, along with triple-digit temperatures on many days during that time, has left the region parched and dry, ripe for fire.
Denton County Fire Marshal Jody Gonzalez said the smallest spark could be enough to start a fire, including, "any type of welding or cutting operations, or even small outdoor cooking where embers could fall out of a fire pit."
"What we want to do is minimize that," said Dallas County Fire Marshal Robert DelosSantos. "So if people are out there welding, or trying to burn brush and limbs like that, that's what we're trying to do, is control that."
Rain in the forecast Wednesday does not eliminate Dallas County's plan to join the others restricting outdoor burning.
"We'd have to have another 20, 30 days of rain so we can get out of the burn ban," DelosSantos said. "The ground is looking for water, and hopefully we'll get some of that tomorrow."
The 90-day ban on outdoor burning would apply to unincorporated areas of Dallas County, but cities in the county are expected to follow up with bans of their own.
NBC 5's Brian Scott contributed to this report.