County issues emergency burn ban, ahead of Memorial Weekend

Staff Report

HAYS COUNTY – Judge Ruben Becerra signed an Executive Order implementing an emergency burn ban over the long holiday weekend. The ban will take effect at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 and remain in effect until 8 p.m. on  Tuesday, May 31.

“In consultation with the Hays County Fire Marshal, I believe the current circumstances in the unincorporated areas of Hays County create a public safety hazard that would be exacerbated by outdoor burning,” Becerra said.

Fire Marshal Mark Wobus said his recommendation to the county judge was based on the weekend weather forecast, which calls for high winds with extremely low relative humidity.

“Even areas of the county that received beneficial rains earlier this week may see an increase in fire activity,” Wobus said.

See details from the burn ban below:

(1) Actions ProhibitedExcept as described hereinafter, a person violates this order if he/she ignites, or causes ignition of any combustible or vegetative material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or sparks, or orders such burning or ignition by others.

(2) Enforcement(a) Under notification of a suspected outdoor burning, the fire department assigned to the location of the fire shall respond and take immediate measures to contain and extinguish the fire.(b) If requested by the fire official, a duly commissioned peace officer, when available shall be sent to the scene to investigate the nature of the fire.(c) In accordance with Section 352.081 of the Local Government Cade, a person who knowingly or intentionally violates this order commits a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.

(3) Exceptions(a) Fires used for camping and cooking if those fires are contained within a structure to prevent the spread of fire to other combustible materials.

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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