National News

Fire Conditions In Central Texas Remain Elevated

Posted June 30, 2017 4:18 p.m. EDT

— With the 4th of July holiday approaching, many counties in Texas have decided to institute what are known as "Burn Bans" that restrict ground burning and open fires. One of the most recent places in Central Texas to enact one of these familiar bans is Burnet County, Northwest of Austin.

Even though Burnet County is not considered abnormally dry as of yet, it appears that the commissioners court has decided to get a jump on the action and error on the side of caution with the popular Summertime holiday and the usually driest time of the year rapidly approaching.

Meteorologist Mark Lenz of the Austin/San Antonio office for the National Weather Service says that Burnet County itself is not considered abnormally dry according to the drought monitor. However, next door in Williamson County they are considered to be drier than normal. If you travel West and get into Llano County, Lenz says that the Western 1/3 of that County is drier than normal but the western 2/3 of the county is not.

Lenz told the Hill Country Tribune that some areas of Burnet County have received 1 1/2 inches rain while other parts of the county have received closer to 5 or 6 inches. "It just depends on where you are", says Lenz.

Fire Chief Tommy Crane of Marble Falls, which is in Burnet County offers this advice to folks this holiday weekend "Leave the fireworks to the pros", he says.

"Go to a city or someplace that is doing fireworks. That is the best way to do it", Chief Crane said.

He did add that if folks do decide to shoot their own fireworks to purchase them from an approved vendor. He also reminded folks that fireworks are banned within the city of Marble Falls, just as they are in most municipalities.

As far as enjoying a safe and happy Independence Day celebration, Mark Lenz says that he expects fire danger levels in the near Hill Country to remain as elevated, but not reach critical. Lenz says wind speeds will likely increase during the afternoon hours and humidity levels should decrease through the period. Lenz cautions celebrants to have a good time, but be cautious and responsible. Always good words to live by.