Dry conditions push Victoria County leaders to invoke burn ban
Aug. 11, 2014 at 5:51 p.m.
Updated Aug. 11, 2014 at 10:56 p.m.
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Despite weekend rains, the rising drought index ignited Victoria County's burn ban.
Commissioners voted Monday to enact the ban on outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of the county.
With parts of the county rated as high as 650 out of 800 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, County Fire Marshal Ron Pray said now was the time.
Some people "may have gotten a few drops yesterday, but that was about it," County Judge Don Pozzi said. "It's hot and dry, and it's not expected to get any better."
Tuesday's forecast includes a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with an expected high of 97 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Household trash burning in a barrel is exempt from the burn ban so long as there is a screen on top with holes no larger than 5/8 of an inch, Pray said.
The area around the barrel should be cleared down to the soil or gravel. All burning must be supervised and have a water hose or other means to control the fire.
"We've been very fortunate the last two years. ... It's not near as bad as it was in 2010 and 2011," Pray said.
Burn-ban violations are considered a class C misdemeanor and could result in a fine of $500, plus a $100 fee for court costs.