By Megan Wehring
KYLE — With critical fire weather conditions underway, the Kyle Fire Department (KFD) urges residents to do their part.
On Feb. 1, Hays County enacted a burn ban, which can be put in place by a county judge or county commissioners court when drought conditions exist in the area to prohibit or restrict outdoor burning for public safety.
“For the safety of yourself and your community, it is important to obey the burn ban,” said Bailey Bakouris, Community Outreach Specialist for KFD. “Right now, we are seeing low humidity, dry grasses and vegetation, and high winds. We have [also]experienced these conditions resulting in an uptick in brush fires lately in our area. Currently, we also have personnel deployed to the Eastland Complex Fire and the Crews Gap Fire.”
Bakouris said the department is encouraging the community to be extra cautious during these weather conditions.
“Avoid all activities that may cause a spark or flame like welding, fire pits or using agricultural equipment,” Bakouris said. “Please dispose of cigarettes properly and do not throw them outside. Remove dead vegetation from around your home. Be careful not to drag trailer chains as this could cause sparks. Also, avoid parking your vehicle on dry grass especially if it was recently driven or idling.”
Creating an emergency kit and plan for your household in case of evacuation is also advised.
The best way to store items for your emergency kit, according to ready.gov, is to use airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers (like plastic bins or a duffel bag).
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for both drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery