By Oyinda Rickford
HAYS COUNTY — On Oct. 5, officials lifted the burn ban as weather conditions improved, coming after months of heightened fire risks.
The decision to end the burn ban welcomes relief to residents and landowners in the area. The burn ban was initially put in place due to dry weather conditions and an increased chance of disastrous wildfires. Prohibitions from the ban included: outdoor burning of open flames, campfires, and fireworks. Residents were urged to exercise caution and refrain from any activities that could potentially lead to wildfires.
Recent weather changes, of increased rainfall and a decrease in high winds, have significantly reduced the risk of wildfires in the region. This has prompted the Hayes County Fire Department, in collaboration with local authorities, to announce the lifting of the burn ban. Residents are still encouraged to exercise caution and follow best practices for fire safety when conducting any outdoor burning.
A wilderness expert and member of the Texas Trophy Hunter Association, Riley Kyler said citizens should still practice caution with fire: “The ending of the burn ban will incentivize people to make and use fire, however, citizens should and need to still be cautious when burning.”
Even though the burn ban has been lifted, county members should remain mindful of the weather and obtain the necessary permits or clearances when engaging in controlled burns. A recommendation from county officials is for citizens to always have a water source nearby when doing fire-related activities. Also, make sure to burn only clean and dry wood materials. If creating a fire, supervision is needed to prevent accidents from happening. Lastly, residents should consistently stay updated with the local regulations.
The decision to end the burn ban comes as good news for those who rely on outdoor activities, such as agriculture and land management. The policy change is a positive sign that the region is moving past the period of increased fire danger — thanks to improved weather conditions.
As the community transitions back to normalcy, residents and landowners are urged to stay informed about local fire safety guidelines and remain cautious while engaging in open flames or burning. Hays County officials will continue to monitor weather conditions and fire risks to ensure the safety and well-being of the community
Written by: Danielle De Lucia