Large grassfire was controlled burn; residents reminded to be cautious

Outdoor burning of brush

Residents and drivers might have noticed a large grassfire south of Texas 71 in the area of FM 962 the afternoon of January 20. While the flames were impressive, the Llano County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it was a controlled burn in neighboring Blanco County.

Most local counties as well as many cities are currently allowing outdoor burning, but officials urge residents to follow basic precautions.

Last week, the city of Marble Falls lifted its burn ban in response to wet weather and wintery conditions. Residents can now rid their property of cleared brush and discarded wood by burning. The city joined Burnet County at large as well as Llano and Blanco counties in allowing outdoor burning.

While Burnet, Llano, and Blanco counties are not under burn bans, residents should notify their sheriff’s office before burning. In Burnet County, even when a ban is not in effect, no outdoor burning is permitted on Red Flag Warning days.

Burnet County has a score of 554 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, according to the Texas Water Development Board’s waterdatafortexas.org. KBDI is a statistical tool used to assess the risk of potential wildfires. The index ranges from zero to 800. The higher the number, the higher the danger.

In Marble Falls, outdoor burning is limited to the burning of wood, brush, grass, leaves, and other vegetation from the property where the burn takes place. Burning insulation, treated lumber, plastics, heavy oils, rubber, garbage, and other synthetic materials is prohibited.

All burning must take place no earlier than one hour after sunrise and completed that same day, no later than one hour before sunset, under city of Marble Falls rules. A water hose connected to a water supply or other approved extinguishing equipment must be on hand and available for use at all open-burn sites.

Residents in other municipalities should check with their city hall or fire department for applicable outdoor burning rules and regulations.

Even though the city of Marble Falls lifted its ban, all outdoor burning requires a permit. To obtain a permit, call 830-693-4060.

For a complete list of rules and regulations, consult the city of Marble Falls’ webpage on Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning.

alex@thepicayune.com

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