Rain helps, but burn ban remains in effect￼
By Kyle Mooty
While Monday evening’s rain was a rare sight lately for Caldwell County, it hardly did enough to quell the threat of fires in the area. In fact, a grass fire in McMahon was taking place during the rain, according to Hector Rangel, Chief of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the county.
“We did get some rain, but I beg of you, please be careful,” said Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden. “We’ve restricted the sale of fireworks, but just a few days ago we buried two volunteer firemen. We had a lightning strike that started one fire and lightning also hit a transformer. The grass fire in McMahon was going on during the rain.
“Our KDBI (Keetch-Byram Drought Index) is the highest I’ve seen; 575 is considered high and we’ve been in the 700 range. Be mindful, even if you’re barbecuing.”
Rangel asked for the burn ban to remain in effect.
“We’ve had 29 fires in two weeks and some of them were pretty big,” Rangel said. “We’ve had to use resources outside of the county such as Bastrop County, Travis County and the forest service. Our KBDI has been around 700; it’s not been up that high in a long, long time.
“We’re fighting fires in very strong winds. We had straight line winds that reached 40 to 50 miles-per-hour. We had some pea-sized hail and Martindale head hail measuring 2 ½-inches.”
Rangel noted that a tropical storm in the Gulf could produce more rain soon and there were two more tropical storms further out in the Gulf looming.
“Some places didn’t get any rain at all,” Rangel said. “Be careful because if embers fly off of anything we may lose five acres.”
In other business:
An update was given to commissioners regarding the progress on Black Angle, Political, and River roads.
David Clark, an engineer with Doucet, said while problems have arisen with water and a shortage of concrete, “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we know it’s not a train now. Work needs to get done.”
Hayden read a proclamation recognizing June as Elder Abuse Prevention Month.
Haden said the Watermelon Thump in Luling had about 25,000 people attend on Saturday.
Caldwell County Elections Administrator Kimber Daniel made a special recognition.
“We have many wonderful volunteers who work with the Caldwell County Elections office, and we appreciate each and every one of the them,” Daniel said. “We do have one volunteer that goes above and beyond, Jon Reyes. Jon not only comes to volunteer when we call but he stops by the office 2-3 times a week to see if we need any assistance. He is always willing to do whatever needs to be done and he does it accurately and with a smile on his face.”