Grass Fire

About 10 to 13 acres of grass was burned in this June 2018 grass fire in rural Victoria County after strong winds blew flames from a barrel of burning trash a resident lit behind his house, said Victoria County Fire Marshal Richard Castillo.

Victoria County commissioners approved a burn ban Monday because of numerous recent grass fires and the ongoing hot, dry weather.

The burn ban prohibits outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of the county.

The dry conditions could make fires prone to spreading.

Victoria County Fire Marshal Richard Castillo said Monday the county’s rating on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, a measure for calculating an area’s potential for wildfire, is “well into the hazardous part.”

The KDBI measures on a scale from 0 to 800, with 800 representing absolutely dry conditions, according to the Texas Weather Connection at Texas A&M University.

The daily average in the county is 587.3. Castillo said the minimum daily average is 478, and the maximum in the county has reached 682 recently.

“We’re in enhanced fire danger,” Castillo said Monday.

It is important for the public to know that there should be no ground burning, and if any burning must be done, it should be done in a burn barrel with a cover, he said.

The county does have the ability to prohibit all burning, which may happen if the index rises into the 700-800 range, Castillo said.

Tickets, with fines up to $600, may be issued to people who violate the burn ban.

Castillo said he is not a proponent of writing citations but that he will if need be.

“If we have to, if it becomes a danger where we’re burning out there, we’re going to be writing those citations,” he said. “It is against the law.”

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter

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Local Government Reporter

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter.

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