The ban on outdoor burning in unincorporated Bexar County expires today and because of the recent rain, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index is at a safe enough level to allow for outdoor burning. Fire Marshal Chris Lopez said despite the absence of a ban, residents wishing to burn outdoors in unincorporated Bexar County should first call the Fire Marshal’s Office at (210) 335-0300 to obtain a burn permit number. Residents should still exercise safety precautions and common sense when burning outdoors.
The Texas Forest Service offers these tips:
- Create a defensible control line down to the soil at least five feet wide around burn barrels and wider around brush and debris piles to ensure burning material won’t blow or roll off the pile into vegetation.
- Stay with the fire until it is completely out. Make sure all fires are out before sundown.
- Keep water and tools ready in case the fire starts to spread.
- Burn household trash only in a burn barrel or other container with a screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
- Never burn aerosol cans.
- Keep an eye on the forecast. Never burn outdoors when the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning. Postpone burning if shifts in wind direction, high winds or wind gusts are forecast.
“It’s important that residents are careful when burning brush, debris and household waste regardless of the burn ban status. Negligent burning, such as allowing the fire to escape to another resident’s property, can result in a Class C misdemeanor offense and a fine,” Lopez said. “Recklessly burning someone else’s property and deliberately setting fire to anyone’s property is always arson, which is a felony offense that can result in jail time.”