With drought conditions in the area looming, Gonzales County and Dewitt County have both declared a temporary burn ban. In effect for either 90 days or until a County Judge determines drought conditions have passed and they rescind the order, the ban prohibits certain outdoor burning. More specifically the ban does not allow a person “to burn any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames or sparks or orders such burning by others.”
Upon suspicion of illegal outdoor burning, the fire department of the area will be called upon to investigate. An authority figure—fire chief or duly-commissioned peace office—may issue a citation and the cited party may be prosecuted in accordance with statues and procedures governing misdemeanors. A person that willingly or intentionally violates this order is subject to a fine up to $500. Dewitt County also seeks restitution for fire calls.
Certain exemptions exist for each burn ban, such as, commercial contractors or landowners who burn brush responsibly where no vegetation is present in Dewitt County and non-commercial preparation of food and the burning of prickly pear for livestock feed in Gonzales County.
Dewitt County’s ban went into effect on Aug. 13, 2019 while Gonzales County goes into effect on Aug. 16, 2019.