Weekend rains not enough, burn ban continues in Caldwell County
By Kristen Meriwether
The rains that have soaked Caldwell County for the past two weekends have been a welcome reprieve for a parched Central Texas. But the much needed moisture was still not enough to lift the countywide burn ban.
“Even though we had an inch and a half of rain last week, the ground is still very dry,” Caldwell County Emergency Manager Hector Rangel said at the Commissioners Court on December 8th. “Our humidity levels are between 15 and 19 percent, which makes our fire danger even higher.”
The four County Commissioners, along with County Judge Hoppy Hayden voted to unanimously keep the ban going for an additional 14 days.
Rangel urged welders to use a spotter, and asked farmers to ensure their chains are tied to the trailers to prevent sparks on the roads. He urged everyone in the county to avoid burning trash while the ban is in effect.
With drought conditions continuing to persist in Caldwell County, the court also passed an order prohibiting the sale, detonation, or ignition of fireworks classified as “skyrockets with sticks” in unincorporated areas of Caldwell County.
The court had tabled restricting fireworks at their November 24th meeting, hoping the forecasted rains would be enough. Rangel recommended the restrictions, noting the continued dry conditions and high fire danger.
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.