Dry, hot weather conditions have forced Bexar County Commissioners to order a new burn ban.
The court order bans outdoor burning in unincorporated Bexar County for the next 90 days, but it’s still okay under the ban to burn household trash or other domestic waste in a burn barrel with a wire mesh screen to prevent the spread of sparks and flames.
Thanks to some good rainy days at the beginning of summer, San Antonio has not been under a burn ban since early June.
The average Keetch-Byram Drought Index in Bexar County was 664 on Wednesday, and the 14-day outlook is in the 700 to 800 range. The KBDI is used to determine wildfire potential based on precipitation and soil moisture.
The index ranges from 0 to 800, with the highest end representing absolutely dry conditions. However, the little rain that fell Wednesday will not put that big of a dent in our drought index, so the ban still stands.
Other exceptions to the ban include firefighter training, public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations, and harvesting of agricultural crops. The ban will expire on Nov. 19 unless the fire marshal finds a public safety hazard no longer exists and lifts it sooner.
A violation of the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.