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Hays County reinstates 90-day burn ban

By Megan Wehring

HAYS COUNTY – Hays County is under a burn ban again. 

The burn ban was reinstated by the Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Sept. 27, per a recommendation by Fire Marshal Mark Wobus, and it will remain in effect for 90 days following that date unless lifted by the court. The previous burn ban expired on Sept. 13. 

As of the Sept. 27 court meeting, the county’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) was 672 with a range of 571 to 757 – but one day later on Wednesday, Sept. 28, it increased to 678.47 with a range of 584 to 759.

“Late last week and even earlier this week, multiple departments have been responding to permitted burns as well those that have not been permitted,” Wobus said. “Even additional fires that have occurred from accidental causes.”

Commissioner Walt Smith commented on the fire marshal’s collaboration with neighboring departments. 

“I just want to say thank you for the coordination you have given with all of our fire chiefs,” Smith said, “especially on the western side of the county. It got brutal within about three days – it turned from greenery to fuel immediately.”

To continue observing the county’s KBDI, visit https://sslarcims3.tamu.edu/KBDI/. 

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly 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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