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The commissioners courts in Burnet and Llano counties each voted to enact countywide burn bans on Tuesday, Oct. 11, following weeks of no rain.

Less than a quarter-inch of rain has fallen anywhere in the Highland Lakes over the past 30 days, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority Hydromet. While several inches were recorded in late August, both Llano and Burnet counties have dried out significantly since then.

As of Tuesday, Burnet County rated an average of 589.68 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, which measures the potential for forest fires. Burnet County officials often refer to the KBDI when making decisions on implementing burn bans. Llano County was an average of 496.57 on the scale. Both counties are approaching significant danger levels on the scale, which goes from 0 to 800. 

“I always ask my fire chiefs what they think,” said Burnet County Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle. “I have four of them in my district, and all four of them agreed that they would be in favor of the burn ban.”

Currently, rain chances for Oct. 16-18 are 30-50 percent, according to the Weather Channel

Violation of the burn ban in either county is a misdemeanor and could result in a fine of up to $500.