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Burn Ban Could Go Into Effect Next Week, Fire Marshal Warns

Comal County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde told Commissioners Court Thursday they may need to implement a burn ban next week. File image.

The unpopular burn ban was on the agenda at Comal County Commissioners Court Thursday, but Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde said the drought index wasn’t high enough to reinstate it — yet.

Klabunde was referring to the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) which reached 472 today. The burn ban is implemented by the county judge when KBDI reaches 500.

On his Facebook page today, Klabunde warned the county could reach 500 by sometime next week and urged residents and visitors to be extremely cautious with open flames.

“The conditions are changing throughout the county,” he said. “Please be careful with any fire you light. Windy conditions and low humidity make grass and wildland fires start and move very quickly.

“Please understand you are responsible for every fire you start. If a fire you start injures someone or causes damage to someone’s building,  you could be charged with arson,” Klabunde said. “Please be careful.”

To learn more about outdoor burning rules for Comal County, click here.

According to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, KBDI is a daily value representative of the water balance. Yesterday’s drougt index is balanced with today’s drought factor, a measure of precipitation and soil moisture. The drought index ranges from 0 to 800.

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