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Hays County, Texas
Information for the News Media
Media Contact: Laureen.Chernow@co.hays.tx.us
Dec. 11, 2012
Hays County Officials Order Burn Ban, Effective Immediately
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday reinstated a countywide burn ban, effective immediately. The Court also banned the sale and use of fireworks with sticks and fins due to the fire hazard they present.
Charcoal and gas grills are exempt from the ban, but burning in “burn barrels” (including barrels with screens on the top) is not allowed.
“If you are grilling outdoors, please use extreme caution,” Mark Chambers, Hays County Fire Marshal said. “Make sure you have a water source nearby to douse escaping sparks and never leave your grill unattended. Place the grill away from anything else that could catch fire, including your house, and don’t dispose of coals until you are certain they are cold.”
On Monday, the drought index was 588 and expected to increase. An index of 575 or higher is one of the indicators that a burn ban is necessary because at that point fine fuels such as grasses are drying out and can catch fire very easily. Drivers should avoid parking vehicles on grassy areas since automobile catalytic converters can start fires along the road. Tossing cigarettes – even ones that appear to be out – can spark a fire.
Residents can help lower the risk of grass fires by making sure vegetation is cut back and periodically watered in compliance with any local watering restrictions. Additional information on protecting your home from fire is available by visiting www.co.hays.tx.us and choosing Fire Marshal from the Law Enforcement tab at the top of the page.
Burn ban and fireworks violators could face a class C misdemeanor charge with a fine up to $500. The fireworks ban does not extend to fireworks sponsored by governmental entities or to entities holding a permit from the Hays County fire marshal to conduct organized, commercial fireworks displays in unincorporated areas of Hays County.