Burn ban needed as ‘hot and dry’ persists
Scorching temperatures and very dry conditions prompted the Gillespie County Commissioners to implement a burn ban on Monday.
Even though some areas reported rain on Sunday and a few on Monday, the burn ban comes during another hot and dry summer.
Until Sunday, only eight points of rain had been recorded in July at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park to bring the year-to-date total to 13.15 inches, which is below the yearly average of 15.24 for this time of year.
Last year at this time, Fredericksburg had recorded 23.68 inches of rain as compared to 2015 when 20.33 inches was recorded and in 2014 when 9.93 inches had fallen by this time of the year.
Commissioners made the decision to implement the burn ban during their regular meeting on Monday, and the order went into effect at 9:45 a.m.
To avoid creating a public safety hazard that would be made worse by outdoor burning, the burn ban prohibits any open burning in the unincorporated areas of Gillespie County, except the burning of combustible material in approved enclosures such as trash barrels and charcoal grills which are designed to contain all flames and embers.
The order does not apply to outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for firefighter training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; planting or harvesting or agricultural crops, or burns that are conducted by a prescribed burn manager who is certified.
Violation of the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor and can be punishable by a fine of up to $500.