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Drought index rises but burn ban still lifted


The Hays County Commissioners Court decided not to impose a burn ban at its regular session June 5 but the window of opportunity for outdoor burning is sure to shut soon, County Judge Bert Cobb said.

Cobb urged residents who need to burn brush or trash to do so now, while they can still can. He said, ““If you have burning that you need to do, do it soon and be extremely careful.”

Most of the county has reached 280 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Chambers told commissioners on Tuesday. So far, however, the county’s fire chiefs are not reporting difficulty staying on top of small fire outbreaks and Chambers recommended the ban remain lifted.

Tuesday morning’s drought index reading of 280 is a little more than halfway to the danger zone that starts at about 500 on the scale. With consistently warm weather and diminishing rainfall, the county could reach that 500 threshold in a matter of days, Chambers said.

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» Keetch-Byram Drought Index map