Burn Ban effective this week

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A burn ban for Brazoria County was effective on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Officials reported the drought index locally was 615.

Burn bans are often enacted based on the “KBDI,” or Keetch-Byram Drought Index — a tool that uses soil moisture, precipitation and other factors used to predict forest fire potential. On a scale ranging from 0 to 800, a 0 means soil is saturated, and 800 represents the driest and most dangerous conditions — the maximum drought rating possible.

In Brazoria County, the index this week was expected to continue rising, reaching 698 within the next 14 days.

The ban applies to all outdoor burning outside an enclosure, with contained barbecue grills being permitted. However, open flame pits are not.

Violations are a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine.

The ban on outdoor burning will remain in effect for 90 days unless County Judge Matt Sebesta authorizes lifting the ban, which could happen should the index fall below 400 for five consecutive days.

Story by Nicole Jones

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