San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 13th, 2009
County lifts burn ban

STAFF REPORT

Hays County officials have lifted the burn ban due to recent rains.

Outdoor burning now is allowed until further notice. Hays County Fire Marshall Mark Chambers cautioned that the burn ban can be reinstated as dry conditions are expected to return to the area.

The county has been under a burn ban since last Oct. 7. Since then, the county has taken measures to address the lack of rainfall in the area.

In December, the county commissioners passed a ban on the sale or use of fireworks with sticks or fins, and local fireworks stands agreed to cut their days of sale during the December season from ten to six.

At the beginning of this month, Hays County Judge Liz Sumter (D-Wimberley) declared an agricultural drought disaster, starting the process of seeking assistance from the state and the U.S Department of Agriculture.

Even before those actions, protracted dry conditions in the area drew the commissioners court’s attention. Last June, Sumter and county parks director Jerry Pinnix placed an item on the agenda calling for “Discussion and possible action for Rain over central Texas for several days.”

Hays County is in a D4 drought – the highest intensity level set by the National Weather Service (NWS).

“This area has kind of been in a drought since 2006, with kind of an intermittent wet portion, and then back to a drought in 2007,” Christopher Morris, a forecaster with the Austin/San Antonio NWS office, said in January.

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