AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Travis County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday morning to ban outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of the county due to dry conditions and an increasing number of grass fires, but that does not have any impact on fireworks.
The burn ban expires on July 31, unless the Court or Fire Marshal makes any changes before then. Officials lifted the previous burn ban on April 3.
Ban does not affect
- prescribed burn under the supervision of a prescription burn manager
- outdoor hot work when done under the guidelines established by the Travis County Fire Marshal's Office. Still, prescription burn managers and those in need of outdoor hot work permits must contact the Travis County Fire Marshal's Office or the fire department in whose jurisdiction the work will be done.
- barbecues. If happening at Travis County Parks and parks managed by the county, it is OK -- as long as the fire is within a closeable container or a container with a lid. You should also have water nearby in case the fire spreads. Call 911 immediately if a fire gets out of control.
"I urge county residents to exercise extreme caution while celebrating Independence Day," said Fire Marshal Hershel Lee. "A burn ban does not affect the use of fireworks in the county, but I recommend that residents attend professionally run fireworks displays instead of personally using fireworks, which can easily start fires."
Lee also reminds the public to not throw cigarettes out car windows and to make sure machinery and cars are properly maintained to avoid creating sparks that cause fire.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index measures moisture in the top 8 inches of the soil and ranges from 0 to 800 for the wettest to driest conditions, respectively. The county is currently at 512 on the KBDI, with daily increases in dryness.
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