July 2, 2013
New Burn Ban for Travis County
The Travis County Commissioners Court voted this morning to ban outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of the county due to dry conditions and an increasing number of grass fires. The burn ban expires on July 31, unless further action is taken by the Court or Fire Marshal prior to that date. The previous burn ban was lifted on April 3, 2013.
Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee stated, "I urge county residents to exercise extreme caution while celebrating Independence Day. 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 vehicle windows, and make sure machinery and vehicles are properly maintained to avoid creating sparks that cause fire.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) measures moisture in the top eight inches of the soil and ranges from 0, indicating the wettest conditions, to 800, for the driest conditions. The county is currently at 512 on the KBDI with daily increases in dryness.
This ban on outdoor burning does not affect a prescribed burn under the supervision of a prescription burn manager. It also does not affect outdoor hot work when done under the guidelines established by the Travis County Fire Marshal's Office. 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.
Barbecuing in Travis County Parks and Parks managed by the county is allowed 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.
If you have questions about the burn ban, please call the Fire Marshal's Office at 512-854-4621, or contact your local fire department.
* See list of area fireworks displays HERE