According to a press release, the decision was made after increasingly dry conditions pushed the Keetch-Byram Drought Index to 551.
Every 100 points of the KBDI is roughly equivalent to an inch of dry soil depth and the commissioners court typically implements a burn ban at 500 points.
Under the restrictions, no open flames are allowed outdoors with the following guidelines:
- Trash burning, campfires and torches are not allowed.
- Residents may use a barbecue pit with an open flame for cooking purposes only if the grill has a lid and is set off the ground.
- Welders are encouraged to use a spotter for any outdoor welding and to keep a water source nearby.
According to Comal County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde, calls to emergency services for non-controlled fires have increased in the county 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, and the weather forecast indicates the heat is only going to get worse,” Klabunde said in a statement. “The current conditions are not safe to have an open flame outside.”
For additional information, visit the fire marshal's website.