Burn ban goes and returns

by Kevin Force, Editor

After 53 days, Comal County Judge Danny Scheel lifted the county's burn ban.

Five days later, he reinstated it.

Comal County Commissioners Court met in an emergency meeting to reinstate the ban after many people around the county took advantage of the lifted burn ban to perform controlled burns. A rash of grass fires ensued over the weekend, prompting the court to reinstate the ban.

The ban became effective at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and lasts for 90 days or until Scheel lifts it.

"We had been receiving light rainfall for three or four days, and I had numerous calls from people requesting to burn," Scheel said. "I checked with the fire marshal, who checked with the forest service, and we thought it would be a good time to lift the ban."

More than 750 requests for controlled burns came between Thursday and Sunday. Scheel said 23 of those got out of control and required emergency crew attention. That prompted Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford to ask that the ban be reinstated.

A man believed to be from Bulverde died in one of the weekend's grass fires. Investigators believe that the wind helped the fire get out of control and the man died from burns while trying to fight the fire.

The man has not yet been identified. Firefighters discovered the body while battling a wild fire in the 31000 block of Blanco Road. Investigators believe the death was an accident.

Scheel also said he will continue to monitor the situation to find the right time to lift the ban. Before I do, I always clear through fire marshal and Texas Forest Service," Scheel said.

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