Comal County Judge Sherman Krause today signed a Disaster Declaration for Comal County due critical fire-weather conditions caused by excessive heat and continued drought.
To read the declaration click here.
All outdoor hot work must now be permitted through the Comal County Fire Marshal’s Office. There is no charge and the permit can be filled out online.
Also today Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a wildfire disaster proclamation due to wildfires that pose an imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property.
“With the continued heat wave and worsening drought conditions, wildfires are a real danger in Comal County,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelley. “We have a burn ban in place and the extreme heat conditions have to be taken seriously. There is no relief in sight.”
Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde said today’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is 726 points on a scale of 0-800 and rising by five points a day.
Public Information Officer Cary Zayas said county leaders and first responders serve on the frontlines of “answering the need of the community” during emergencies. Resources are needed to support those efforts and safeguard residents.
Krause’s declaration of local disaster may restrict the use of fireworks more broadly than the Commissioners Court’s ordinary authority and may prohibit outdoor burning that is usually exempt from county regulation. A burn ban may not restrict certain types of outdoor burning.
According to the Texas Association of Counties, a declaration of local disaster may be enacted by the county judge, acting alone, subject to approval by commissioners court within seven days after it is put in place.
County commissioners can vote to extend the declaration up to 60 days.
For more information about the disaster declaration and burn ban as well as links for applying for a hot work permit visit the Fire Marshal’s page on the county website.
Texas A&M Forest Service said this week’s critical fire weather, characterized by increased wind speeds and triple-digit temperatures, aligns with very dry vegetation to produce an environment with high potential for wildfires that are resistant to firefighters’ suppression efforts.
Thursday, Texas A&M Forest Service responded to 8 wildfires for 1,046 acres burned.