San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 21st, 2014
Hays County commissioners activate outdoor burning ban

STAFF REPORT

The Hays County Commissioners Court voted this morning to activate a ban on outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of the county.

On Tuesday, none of Hays County registered higher than 200 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, according to the Texas Forest Service. Usually, commissioners implement a ban when parts of the county start approaching 500 on the index, which accesses drought severity based on recorded rainfall and soil moisture depletion.

Despite official drought conditions, Fire Marshal Mark Chambers told commissioners this morning that high winds, low humidity and dead, dry vegetation puts the county at a higher risk for severe wildfires.

Under a burn ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited in unincorporated areas, including the use of burn barrels with lids. Barbecue grills can be used, but care should be taken to ensure that there is a water source nearby and that a fire is completely out before being unattended.

Outdoor burning is prohibited within the city of San Marcos year-round.

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