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Burn Ban Issued as KBDI Approaches 500

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) for Comal County was at 491 on Thursday -- and is projected to reach 500 by week's end. Every 100 points of the KBDI is roughly equivalent to an inch of dry soil depth.

Comal County Commissioners on Thursday made official what Comal County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde warned of last week: A burn ban has been issued for unincorporated areas of Comal County starting at 6 a.m. Friday, July 26.

“The county is drying up very quickly, and with the low humidity predicted over the next few days, fire conditions could get bad very quickly, ” Klabunde posted on his Facebook page.

Calls to emergency services for non-controlled fires have been increasing across the county.

“A lot of the vegetation that grew during the spring has now died or gone dormant because of the recent dry weather,” Klabunde said in a press release issued by Comal County on Thursday. “The current conditions are not safe to have an open flame outside.”

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is projected to reach 500, which is the threshold at which Commissioners Court considers implementing the burn ban. On Thursday, it was 491.

Every 100 points of the KBDI is roughlyl equivalent to an inch of dry soil depth.

Here’s what that means for residents living outside city limits:

  • BBQ pits that are off the ground and have a lid (to contain all sparks and flames) are allowed for cooking purposes only
  • No brush fires
  • No burn barrels
  • No fire pits (rings)
  • No open flames of any kind
  • No camp fire of any size
  • No burn piles, day or night
  • No burn piles with glowing embers
  • No burning household waste (day or night  in container that contains all sparks and/or flames)
  • No household waste (not in container that contains all sparks and/or flames)
  • No burning non-wood construction materials
  • No burning rubber, plastic, treated lumber, etc. (Exception: rubber and plastics in household waste allowed)

Fines for violating the burn ban range between $1,000 and $100,000, confinement in the county jail for up to 180 days, or both.

The burn ban lasts for 90 days or until the fire danger recedes.

For more information, click here.

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