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The sale and use of aerial fireworks have been banned in Burnet County now that the Keetch-Byram Drought Index has reached 576, one point over the 575 trigger point determined during a regular meeting of the Burnet County Commissioners Court on June 14.

The ban is on “skyrockets with sticks” and “missiles with fins,” according to the county’s media release sent Tuesday, June 21. This does not affect professional shows put on by municipalities.

“This does not prohibit the use of common fireworks, classified as Class C explosives or large fireworks classified as Class B explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation,” reads the statement. 

Burnet County’s 576 KBDI average for Tuesday was up seven points from Monday’s reading. The county’s index reading has been increasing seven to 11 points a day as hot weather continues and rain remains elusive. 

The KBDI is used to determine wildfire potential based on the amount of precipitation and soil moisture as measured by the Texas A&M Forest Service. It is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil-moisture depletion. Zero indicates no moisture depletion, while the other end of the scale — 800 — represents absolutely dry conditions.

Currently, Burnet County is under Stage 4 critical drought restrictions as determined by the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District, and residents are being asked to reduce water usage by 30 percent. 

The cities of Burnet and Marble Falls are operating under Stage 2 drought restrictions.