Citing increasingly dry conditions, Comal County Commissioners Court implemented a ban on outdoor burning at its June 7 regular meeting. The ban takes effect Friday at 6 a.m. and will stay in effect for 90 days.
The restrictions ban open flames outdoors including trash burning, campfires and torches. Residents may barbecue with an open-flame grill as long as it has a lid and is set off the ground, and welders are encouraged to use a spotter for any outdoor welding and to keep a water source nearby.
Comal County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde said about a dozen non-controlled fires have been reported to emergency services in recent days.
“A lot of the vegetation that grew during the spring has now died or gone dormant because of the recent hot and dry weather,” he said. “The current conditions are not safe to have an open flame outside.”
According to county officials, the The Keetch-Byram Drought Index is projected to reach 500 this week, which is the threshold at which burn ban implementation is considered. Every 100 points of the KBDI is roughly equivalent to an inch of dry soil depth.