Unincorporated Areas of Hays County Now Under Burn Ban
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – At its January 16 meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court placed the unincorporated areas (including extra territorial jurisdictions) of the county under an immediate burn ban following a report from Fire Marshal Clint Browning.
“Yesterday’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index was 233, which normally would not be a concern, but our ground and fuel moistures are very low, which the KBDI doesn’t measure,” Browning said. “Local fire chiefs have requested the ban be reinstated because of an uptick in brush fires, the majority of which have been caused by unsupervised burning of brush and materials. Those fires are becoming more difficult to handle since soil is extremely dry, and grasses which fuel those fires are very dry as well.”
Browning noted that the slight chance of rain throughout the next several days might only complicate brush fire response, since fire-fighting vehicles face getting stuck in fields that contain dead winter grasses, and those grasses won’t turn green and more resistant to fire until spring.
Charcoal, wood and gas grills with lids are exempt from the ban, but burning in “burn barrels” or fire pits (including ones with screens on the top) is not allowed. Grilling of any kind is prohibited at Hays County parks under a burn ban. Most cities already prohibit outdoor burning, but residents within city limits should check their city ordinances.