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Citing persistent drought conditions and circumstances present in all or parts of the county creating hazardous conditions which would be exacerbated by outdoor burning, Frio County commissioners signed a burn ban order last week.
The 90-day order went into effect on Monday, July 17, and will continue until October 15.
“I would like to start this on Monday, to give anyone a last chance to burn over the weekend,” Pct. 3 Comm. Raul Carrizales said.
“Our drought systems are going up,” Frio County 911 Emergency Coordinator Ray Kalio said during the July 11 meeting. “We are 455 today we were at 444 yesterday. I recommend putting it on.”
The ban does not prohibit outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for firefighter training, public utility operations, planting and harvesting of agricultural crops, land clearing by contractors or the burning of garbage in a container with a wire mesh screen.
Ranchers are allowed to burn prickly pear cactus to feed to their livestock; a prescribed burn manager certified under Natural Resources Code Section 153.048 may oversee controlled burns.
The order applies to all unincorporated areas of Frio County outside the city limits of Pearsall and Dilley. Violations may be prosecuted as Class C misdemeanors and punishable with fines up to $500.