Burn Ban

Austin
3:46 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Burn Bans Issued for Austin and Central Texas

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 136 counties are currently under burn bans in Texas.
flickr.com/riosetiawan

Dry conditions have led to more burn bans being issued for Austin and surrounding areas.

The ban temporarily prohibits open fires and grilling in parks. Smoking continues to be prohibited in parks. The ban does not include propane grills and stoves in designated picnic areas.

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Austin
9:05 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

In Austin Parks, Burn Ban Lifted

Downtown Austin, seen from Lou Neff Point in Zilker Park
Flickr, Jeff Gunn http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffgunn/5783484625/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The rain we’ve had lately isn’t enough to get rid of the drought, but it is enough to get rid of the burn ban in Austin Parks.

Austin Parks and Recreation is lifting the ban, effectively immediately, and removing the plastic that’s been wrapped around barbecue grills.

The lifting of the ban also means campfires are okay, but only at Emma Long Metropolitan Park.

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The Lead
8:54 am
Wed February 27, 2013

The Lead: Earth, Wind (Damage) and Fire (Bans)

Austin's in for a mild day, but areas to the south are under a Red Flag warning.
National Weather Service

Good morning! Austin’s in for a sunny, dry and breezy day with a high in the mid 60s, according to the National Weather Service. No Red Flag warning for Austin today (signaling fire danger from high winds), but San Antonio and counties to the south are under a warning all day. Read more below about area burn bans.

Lead Story: Many Central Texans are still picking up after Monday's high winds. Gusts topping 50 miles an hour toppled fences and tore shingles from roofs.

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Austin
1:06 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

You Can't Smoke at ACL (Even Though the Burn Ban's Lifted)

Attendees gather in Zilker Park for the 2011 ACL Music Festival- when a smoking ban was loosely enforced.
KUT News

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department has lifted the burn ban for all city parks. Department Director Sara Hensley cites recent rainfall and improving drought conditions for the change.

No more burn ban means grilling is now allowed in designated areas. Campfires are only allowed at Emma Long Metropolitan Park.

The city reminds everyone that fires should never be left unattended and should be fully extinguished when not in use. The city says a source of water should also be kept nearby.

Naturally, you won't be able to grill or build a campfire at Zilker Park during the Austin City Limits Music Festival. But more importantly, you also won't be able to smoke there.

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weather
4:21 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Travis County Burn Ban Lifted

Recent wet weather means the end of the burn ban - for now.
National Weather Service

With Travis County receiving several inches of rain in the last 24 hours, a burn ban for the county is no longer in effect. 

Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee lifted the burn ban for the region today. It was initially scheduled to last until Oct. 3. The lift will be in effect until  at least Sept. 18, when the county commissioners court will consider the ban once more.

Officials still remind citizens to abide by state regulations when burning any materials outdoors. You can find more information on the fire marshall’s website

Environment
12:39 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Travis County Extends Burn Ban

Outdoor burning is prohibited in unincorporated areas of Travis County.
flickr.com/vabachi

Travis County commissioners voted unanimously this morning to extend the burn ban into October. The county is still in a moderate drought and we’ve had several days of record breaking temperatures and low relative humidity.

Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee says the burn ban appears to be working. 

“I have spoken with several of the fire chiefs out west this morning where the county is the driest, and they are reporting very little activity other than a few runs for people who are burning when they should not have been, and between the fire departments and the sheriff’s office, they have taken care of those," Lee says.

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Environment
4:10 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Hot, Dry Weather = Burn Bans, Severe Drought Conditions

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows portions of Central Texas have moved from moderate to severe drought.

Recent hot and dry weather has prompted several Central Texas counties to issue burn bans.

Travis, Williamson, Hays and Burnet Counties are all prohibiting outdoor burning.

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AM Update: 8/16/12
8:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

AM Update: LCRA Wants More Water, Parks Burn Ban, Another Hasan Trial Delay?

Securing More Water for Central Texas

The Lower Colorado River Authority is taking action on three projects that the Board of Directors say will increase its water supply and reduce demand for water from the Highland Lakes.

The LCRA has put money down to hold land near the Colorado River while it explores the option of building two water reservoirs there. The LCRA says water could be diverted to the reservoirs in times of heavy rain or floods and then be made available for customer use.

The LCRA is also putting together a purchase agreement to buy the Alcoa aluminum property northeast of Austin that would give it rights to a groundwater aquifer *as well as surface water.

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Environment
12:42 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Burn Ban Back in Place

It's back: A countywide burn ban is in place through Labor Day weekend.
Flickr user Dawn Huczek, http://bit.ly/Nzgxld

A burn ban is back in effect in Travis County. Fire Marshal Hershel Lee recommended the ban be put back in place during a county commissioners’ meeting this morning.

Central Texas had been without a burn ban since mid-July.

But Lee says the last few weeks have been pretty dry and the forecast looks like it will bring more heat and little rain.

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AM Update 7/12/2012
7:51 am
Thu July 12, 2012

AM Update: AISD Grad Rates Rising, Burn Ban Lifted, Texas Looks at the Affordable Care Act

AISD hopes to have the graduation rate up to 90 percent by 2014.
Laura Rice, KUT News

AISD Graduation Rates Continue to Rise

For the third year in a row, graduation rates are up in the Austin Independent School District.

The class of 2011 graduated 80 percent of students – that's up just over a percentage from last year and about six percent higher than than in 2008.

The Texas Education Agency says AISD made significant jumps in graduation rates specifically for economically-disadvantaged students and students who are still learning English. Debra Reedy, the Director of Assessment and Accountability for AISD, is pleased with those gains.

“That’s kind of been our goal, certainly in the last couple of years, to really focus on those gaps within those student groups and to try to decrease the gaps,” Reedy says.

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Austin
1:29 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Burn Ban Dampens Fourth Fireworks Sales

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Travis County is under a burn ban but fireworks are still on sale. The county is allowing fireworks but not recommending their use.

Keith Cooper sells fireworks for an “American Fireworks” stand. He thinks the burn ban is keeping some customers away.

“Sales have started off a little slow this year. People are a little leery of fire. But they’ve been fairly well,” said Cooper. “Of course it always picks up during the holiday. The third and the fourth are always our best days.”

Vendors met with the Fire Marshal’s office yesterday and agreed not to sell winged fireworks, rockets and missiles – that’s because they pose the biggest fire risk.

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Environment
2:04 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Hold On to Your Butts: Fire Department Sees Six Cigarette Fires in One Day

The Austin Fire Department responded to six small grass fires along major roads yesterday afternoon.
Callie Hernandez for KUT News

The Austin Fire Department is reminding everyone to be extra careful to prevent grass fires.

Fire crews responded to 12 calls about small grass fires yesterday afternoon, mostly along major roads. The fire department says the flare-ups were probably caused by cigarette butts.

Travis County Commissioners put a burn ban back in effect on Tuesday. Cigarettes are not included in the burn ban, but the Austin Police Department will issue tickets for littering to anyone they see improperly dispose of their butts.

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Environment
4:11 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Burn Ban Back in Effect for Travis County

Fireworks over Auditorium Shores on 2009.
KUT News

With the Fourth of July just nine days away, residents of Travis County can rest assured that fireworks will still be part of their holiday celebrations. But Travis County Commissioners are urging people to use caution.

That's after commissioners voted today to put a burn ban back in effect for unincorporated areas on the advice of fire marshal Hershel Lee. 

While fireworks can still be used and sold for the Fourth of July, they are still banned inside city limits, as is outdoor burning without a permit. 

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Environment
2:37 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Burn Ban Lifted in City Parks

Two people grilling in Zilker Park before the burn ban enacted last April
Photo by ramk13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramk13/

The City of Austin has lifted a burn ban for all city parks. You can grill in designated areas, but campfires are only allowed at Emma Long Metropolitan Park.

Victor Ovalle is with Austin Parks and Recreation. He says recent rainfall has improved drought conditions in the area, but s park-goers should still be careful.

“We’re asking the public to be very careful when they’re out," Ovalle said. "There’s still a lot of timber in the area, in our parks, and so we ask them not to leave their fires unattended, to keep a source of water nearby, and before leaving the site, making sure the fire is completely extinguished."

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Austin
1:25 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Travis County Burn Ban Back On

The Travis County Commissioners Court and county Fire Marshall agree it's time to reinstate the burn ban.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/compasspoint

The burn ban is back.

At their meeting this morning, the Travis County Commissioners approved a recommendation from county Fire Marshall Hershel Lee to reinstate the ban.

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Central TExas
12:24 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Where to Get Your Fireworks On

KUT News

It's illegal for Austin residents to set off fireworks inside city limits, but a public event on New Year's Eve may quell your appetite for explosives.

Austin's New Year takes place at Auditorium Shores (South 1st and Riverside) and will showcase art, films, live music and, of course, fireworks. The event starts on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and finishes with the fireworks show at 10:30.

Fans of fireworks were let down over the summer when the city's Fourth of July show was canceled due to the burn ban.

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drought
5:29 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Burn Bans Lifted Across Central Texas

courtesy flickr.com/morclaud/

As rain gradually rehydrates Central Texas, counties are tentatively lifting their burn bans. Williamson County commissioners decided today to lift a ban for one week.

Travis County Commissioners voted two weeks ago to cancel a ban that had been in effect for virtually a year. Today, they agreed to keep the ban lifted.

Across Central Texas, burn bans have been abolished in Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Comal, Blanco, and Burnet Counties. Even Bastrop, a county ravaged by wildfire in September, voted to lift its burn ban last week.

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austin
5:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Travis County Burn Ban Still on Hold

Photo by Doug Beckers http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbeckers/

Travis County commissioners voted today to continue allowing controlled burns. They voted unanimously last Tuesday to lift a ban that had been in effect since December 2010, except for a few days in April. Today, all but one commissioner opted not to reinstate the restriction on burning.

At their weekly meeting, commissioners met behind closed doors to discuss the possibility of imposing a burn ban on specific parts of the county.

“We’ve got significant geographic difference between the east side of the county and the west side of the county,” Commissioner Karen Huber told KUT News. “The east side is more farm land. The west side is Ashe Juniper that is dense and very volatile right now.”

Huber was the lone vote in favor of reinstating the ban.

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drought
1:21 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Travis County Burn Ban Temporarily Lifted

The warm embers of a campfire have been an unwelcome sight in Travis County, which has been under a burn ban since December 2010.
Photo by FLC http://www.flickr.com/photos/flc/

If you’ve been wanting to pitch a tent and light a campfire, or burn off some of the brush on your property, you've got about seven days to get ‘er done. Travis County Commissioners unanimously voted to lift the burn ban for a week on the advice of the county Fire Marshal Hershel Lee.

“I reviewed the forecast, took into account the recent rains, spoke with most of the local fire department fire chiefs, and taking all that information together, made the recommendation to the court to lift the burn ban for one week,” Lee told KUT News.

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drought
12:04 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Burn Ban Busts Aggie Bonfire Again

The Aggie bonfire in 2005
Photo by mikel_duke http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelduke/

Chalk up another casualty of the Texas drought: Texas A&M University’s annual student bonfire was called off because of a burn ban in Robertson County. It’s the second year in a row that Aggie students havehad to cancel the towering 45 foot inferno.

“We’ve been under severe drought conditions now for a year,” Michelle Haver, a court coordinator for the Robertson county judge, told StateImpact Texas a joint reporting project of KUT and NPR.

As the bonfire’s website explains, the stack site will be open to visitors, but “under no circumstances” will they start a fire.

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