UPDATED: Burn ban lifted for Caldwell County
This story has been updated since it was printed on Dec. 30. The original content as it appeared in the paper is below.
UPDATED DEC. 31: Thanks to heavy rains from a winter storm that began falling Dec. 30 and continued through New Years Eve, the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management has lifted the burn ban for the county.
“The Burn Ban has been lifted for Caldwell County. Please use caution when burning. Do not leave any fires unattended. Remember, ALWAYS call Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office before you burn. For further information, please call Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management at 512-398-1822 or Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 512-398-6747,” a post on their Facebook page said on Dec. 30.
Fireworks classified as “skyrockets with sticks” or missiles with fins, however, are still banned.
The rains are expected to stop Thursday evening, but temperatures are expected to remain cool, according to the National Weather Service.
Printed story from Dec. 30: The skies have been cloudy, the rains have fallen off and on, but the moisture still isn’t enough to remove the burn ban.
Caldwell County Emergency Management Chief Hector Rangel reported roughly an inch and a half of rain is expected to fall later in the week, but he still highly recommended keeping the ban on.
“That’s still not enough to get into the soil,” Rangel said at the County Commissioner’s meeting on December 29th. “What gets us is the humidity levels. The humidity has been dropping down to 11 and that’s where the fire danger comes in.”
Rangel reported that Caldwell County has not seen any serious fires but did see a small fire breakout in Dale that was caused by fireworks. It scorched a few acres but was put out by the Dale Volunteer Fire Department.
Fireworks classified as “skyrockets with sticks” or missiles with fins has been prohibited since December 8th in any portion of unincorporated areas of Caldwell County.
Permissible fireworks, like mortars, are not included in the order because they do not pose as great of a fire danger by continuing to be lit when reaching the ground.
Breaking the order will earn you a Class C Misdemeanor.
The order expires on the date the Texas Forest Service determines drought conditions no longer exist in Caldwell County, or January 2, 2021, whichever is earlier.
The court passed the motion 3-0, with Judge Hoppy Haden and Commissioner Joe Roland absent from the meeting. There was no discussion about continuing the fireworks ban through the next Commissioners Court which will be held on January 5th, 2021.