Comal County Fire Marshal Warns Burn Ban Likely

Image courtesy of Comal County.

Comal County’s Commissioners Court probably will implement a burn ban before the end of the month.

County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde said burn bans go into effect when the Keetch-Bryam Drought Index (KBDI) reaches around 500 points. Today’s KBDI is 433, and it is increasing at a rate of 10 points per day.

For every 100 points of KBDI, the moisture is one inch below the surface of the soil.

“The Texas forest service says we are in a drought between 400 and 600,” he said. “With the current weather situation and continued drought, our burn ban could be in effect by next Friday (May 31). Please be very careful with any open flames and other ignition sources at this time. Fires can get out of control very quickly in this situation.”

Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Wes Moorehead warns it only takes a few, dry windy days for wildfire potential to increase.

“Though recent rains have helped decrease wildfire potential across most of the state, we encourage everyone to be careful with outdoor activities this holiday and throughout the summer,” he said.

Nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans and are preventable.

Tips to Prevent Wildfires

The forest service advises recreationalists to:

  • Always check with local officials for burn bans and other outdoor burning restrictions. Pay attention to local guidelines regarding open fires, campfires and outdoor activities that may pose a fire hazard.
  • Never leave grills unattended. Wind gusts can blow embers into dry vegetation, potentially starting a wildfire.
  • Keep grills free of excess grease to prevent flare-ups.
  • Place grills in an open space away from tall or dry grass, shrubs, woodpiles, or other flammable materials. Also, avoid placing grills underneath a tree or on a wooden patio deck.
  • After grilling allow coals to cool completely. Smoldering coals can reignite and release embers, which may be blown into nearby vegetation.
  • If pulling a boat or camper make sure tow chains are properly connected and do not drag on the roadway, creating sparks.
  • Park in designated spaces and avoid driving over and parking on dry grass — the heat from vehicles can easily ignite the grass.

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