Bastrop County issues burn ban, disaster declaration due to high wildfire danger

Bastrop County
bastrop county fire

Firefighters at Regen Hill Fire in Bastrop County Aug. 14 (KXAN Photo)

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape issued both an outdoor burn ban and a disaster declaration for impending wildfire danger Thursday.

Recent dry conditions in the county necessitated both orders, Pape said, and he wrote in his disaster declaration the conditions “pose the threat of large, dangerous and fast-moving wildfires” and “fire have the potential of endangering lives and damaging property on a large scale.”

Both orders took effect at 4 p.m. Thursday, and the burn ban prohibits any outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of Bastrop County with the following exceptions:

  • Welding
  • Activity authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Food preparation using above-ground grills
  • The use of air curtain incinerators

The order states a person is in violation if they “ignite or cause ignition of any combustible or vegetative material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or spark, or orders such burning or ignition by others.”

Violating the order is considered a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine up to $500.

The disaster declaration and burn ban will stand for seven days and can be extended by Bastrop County commissioners.

In August, a wildfire sparked by a car fire near Bastrop State Park burned about 25 acres and threatened homes. The Bastrop County Complex Fire in 2011, the most destructive wildfire in the history of Texas, helped shape how firefighters and other emergency crews respond to fires currently.

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