Burn ban

The burn ban in Victoria County has been lifted effective immediately, according to the Victoria County Fire Marshal’s Office.

The burn ban, which was instated in early August, prohibited outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of the county.

Victoria County Fire Marshal Richard Castillo said the county’s rating on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, a measure for calculating an area’s potential for wildfire, has decreased into the low 500s.

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. When the number reaches 550 or above, Castillo said, the county initiates a burn ban.

“We dropped into low 500s yesterday and are still there today, so I felt comfortable lifting the ban,” Castillo said Friday. “With the amount of rainfall we’ve been getting and good levels of moisture, we feel confident it was OK to lift.”

Castillo said that the fire marshal’s office will continue to monitor the KDBI and watch for changes in the weather. If the rain doesn’t continue or drought levels go back up, he said, a burn ban may be reinstated.

With the ban lifted, residents are permitted to burn household trash or other ground burning, such as brush. All types of ground or outdoor burning need to be called in to the Victoria County Fire Marshal’s Office, Castillo said.

It is important residents make sure to stay outside while doing any outdoor burning, Castillo said.

“Just because the ban is lifted, people still need to be out there with the fire and being watchful,” he said.

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