Burn ban enacted for Gillespie County
By Lisa Treiber-Walter —
Although some ranchers asked them not to, Gillespie County Commissioners have enacted a “burn ban” to protect against the “bigger picture” of wildfire danger.
“This is probably more proactive than we’ve been in the past, but things are drying out quickly,” county fire marshal Steve Olfers said Monday to commissioners as he made the recommendation on behalf of himself and what he said was a majority of the chiefs from the county’s rural fire departments.
Commissioners opted to agree with the recommendation, voting unanimously (5-0) to put the 90-day, automatic countywide law into place.
That decision, however, knowingly goes against the wishes of several agricultural producers who Commissioners Calvin Ransleben and Donnie Schuch said had phoned them this past week to express their objections to a ban.
Reportedly, those ranchers are in the middle of burning coastal fields at this point in the season and such a ban on outdoor burning would do much to impede their operations.
“But, there’s always a bigger picture to look at,” Olfers reminded commissioners.
When asked about the fire departments’ call volume requiring firefighters to respond to grass or brush fires, Olfers said it has not been high, to date.
Still, he contends there is plenty of “fuel” in certain parts of the county to create a wildfire hazard.
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