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Emergency burn bans lifted

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LPR staff report

A ban on burning materials in unincorporated areas of Caldwell County that had been in place 14 days was lifted Thursday, Dec. 27 in Caldwell County Commissioners Court.

The ban was put in place in December when windy conditions made it unsafe to burn materials, despite the county seeing plenty of rain through the autumn months.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules state that “Burning shall not be commenced when surface wind speed is predicted to be less than 6 mph or greater

than 23 mph during the burn period.”

The rule was written to provide favorable conditions for smoke dispersal. The rule is based on the “public” forecast as provided by the National Weather Service based on 10-meter reporting stations located at airports.

These stations are used in the models that provide predictions of wind speed throughout the United States. The TECQ developed the wind speed rule based on the public forecast that the public could access such as newspapers, radio, or television forecasts.

While conditions were not windy throughout the entirety of the county’s emergency ban, Texas state laws require a ban to remain in place for no fewer than seven days.

“We’re taking the burn ban off, but we do want to make the comment that if the winds get high, it’s against the law to burn,” Schawe said. “Please take that into consideration.”

 

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