Llano County does not impose burn ban at meeting

 

By Phil Reynolds

The Highlander

Llano County commissioners voted not to impose a county-wide burn ban Monday with three commissioners voting to table the matter, one voting in favor of a ban, and County Judge Mary Cunningham abstaining.

The question of a burn ban is a regular agenda item during commissioners court meetings. Commissioners have been voting to table the question recently, saying conditions don’t warrant a ban.

Monday, however, Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke noted that the county had seen several “really big” fires recently, some burning “close to houses.”

County Emergency Management Assistant Ron Anderson said three fire chiefs in the county had told him the previous Wednesday that if the county got “significant” rainfall over the weekend of June 24-25, they might reconsider their recommendation for a ban.

Anderson conceded that some areas of Llano County received 2-1/2 to 3 inches of rain, but said, “Given the current (weather) cycle that we’re going into, whatever (rainfall) gains we’ve made will start to go away when we get more sunshine.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval argued that meteorologists had predicted storms for the following few days in Central Texas.

Commissioners Sandoval, Peter Jones (Precinct 1) and Jerry Don Moss (Precinct 4) voted to once again table the matter. Raschke voted against tabling, that is, in favor of a burn ban; Cunningham abstained from voting.

The county judge is empowered to unilaterally impose a burn ban without commissioners’ voting for one if conditions seem to warrant one, but only after declaring an emergency and only for a limited time.

The Texas Forest Service classed the danger of wildfires in Llano County as ‘low’ in its June 25 survey of the state.

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