Llano County lifts burn ban; Burnet County ban remains
The Llano County burn ban was lifted as of 7:49 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, by order of Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham. The burn ban had been in effect in Llano County since January due to severe drought conditions.
Recent storms deposited inches of rain across Llano County and more rain is projected to be on the way, according to the National Weather Service. Llano County is also on an active flood watch until Wednesday, Aug. 24.
The county has been under exceptional drought conditions throughout the summer, reaching the most critical drought rating given by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The Llano County Commissioners Court discussed the burn ban at its regular meeting on Aug. 22 and voted to reinstate it for up to 90 days. Judge Cunningham lifted the ban after revisiting the subject early the next day.
“We felt like we’ve got enough rain to lift the burn ban for a few days,” Cunningham said. “The minute we think conditions are worsening, we’ll put it right back on.”
Cunningham consulted with fire chiefs in Llano County prior to the decision. The main factor in lifting the ban was the amount of rainfall over Llano County on Aug. 22-23. The LCRA hydromet shows the county receiving between 0.62 inches and 1.9 inches of rainfall, depending on the location.
Those wanting to conduct outdoor burning must still contact the Llano County Sheriff’s Office at 325-247-5767 and give their name and address. Only organic material can be burned and fires must be out before nightfall.
The Burnet County Commissioners Court decided to continue the Burnet County burn ban at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 23. A burn ban was not on the agenda, but county judges can use their emergency powers to lift or place burn bans without commissioners’ votes when needed.
Director of Burnet County Development Services Herb Darling said it would be at least another two weeks before the county should consider lifting the ban.
“Even if we did get two inches in the next few days, it would take a week to green up,” Darling said. “When the sun comes out we won’t be any greener than we were.”
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index measures daily water balance and soil-moisture to determine the severity of drought conditions in a given area on a scale of 0-800, with 800 being the driest conditions. Darling noted that Burnet County is still at 652 on the KBDI. Llano County sits at 683 on the KBDI.