The Canyon Lake Times Guardian

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Grass fire prompts burn ban in Comal County

By Comal County Deputy Fire Marshall Wayne Ellington

Staff Writer

The Comal County Fire Marshal’s office commends the County Judge and Commissioners for taking a pro-active stand on the wild land fires within the county.

Comal County Commissioners Court voted to ban outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of Comal County effective Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 at 6:00 a.m.

This action was taken on Thursday, Oct. 25, at the request of the Comal County Fire Marshal’s Office.

The summer rains have left a large portion of Comal County covered with very high and thick grasses. The KBDI (drought index) was at 532 last week which is rated “VERY HIGH.”

The small amount of rain that the county received on Monday morning reduced the KBDI by 10 points on Tuesday.

But on Oct. 24, the number dropped to 485, which is still rated as “HIGH.”

A grass fire that day consumed approximately 5 acres of land, two boats, and several other items used in boat repairs. Fire investigators believe the fire was started by a lit cigarette. The area that burned was covered with high grasses that had grown this summer during the wet season.

Now is the time of year the cold fronts will begin to bring high winds and low levels of humidity, which create a public safety hazard that could be exacerbated by outdoor burning.

The fire departments have also been extinguishing fires that were started during “Red Flag” days. Because of this the Comal County Fire Marshal’s Office recommended to Commissioners Court that a burn ban be instituted in the unincorporated areas of Comal County.

Violations of this order occur if: a. a person burns or orders such burning by others of any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or sparks: or
b. a person creates or orders the creating of a campfire larger than three (3) feet in diameter.

A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally violates a prohibition or restriction established by this order. An offense under this section is a Class “C” misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $50.00 and not more than $500.00.

This order shall expire on the 90th day after the date this order is adopted, unless lifted by the County Judge as hereby authorized by the Commissioner Court of Comal County.

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