County commissioners voted Monday morning to enact a burn ban across the entirety of Gonzales County effective immediately and remaining until proper amounts of precipitation come this way again.
Per the official resolution, a person violates the order by burning any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and sparks, or orders burning by others.
If authorities are alerted to an illegal burn, the local fire department that is assigned to the area will investigate the nature of the fire, as well as a local commissioned peace officer. Both will determine if the fire was a violation and a citation may be issued. Running afoul of the ban is a Class C misdemeanor punishable of a fine not to exceed $500.
Exemptions exist for non-commercial preparations of food, the burning of prickly pear for livestock, and prescribed fires conducted in compliance with guidelines set by state or federal natural resource agencies.
The order may be enforced by any duly commissioned peace officer and the ban will continue until rescinded by the court, which will be 90 days or until drought conditions no longer exist in the area.