RUNNELS COUNTY - Extremely dry and windy conditions prompted Runnels County Commissioners to reinstate a burn ban for Runnels County during their meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

RUNNELS COUNTY - Extremely dry and windy conditions prompted Runnels County Commissioners to reinstate a burn ban for Runnels County during their meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Runnels County Judge Barry Hilliard said the ban is needed because of the conditions throughout the county.

“It is really dry out there,” Hilliard said. “We needed to do this.”

Violation of the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor and a fine up to $500 may be issued to violators.

Officials have contacted the Texas A & M Forest Service and Runnels County will now join the 121 counties statewide that have put a burn ban in place, including Tom Green, Coke, Concho, Taylor, Callahan and Brown counties.

Fire danger consists of the various factors of fuels, weather, topography and risk combined to assess the daily fire potential on an area. The most commonly accepted definition of fire danger is “the resultant descriptor of the combination of both constant and variable factors which affect the initiation, spread and difficulty of control of wildfires on an area,” according to the Texas Forest Service.

According to the county’s burn ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited in the unincorporated areas of Runnels County for 90 days from Jan. 31. Burning is prohibited for that amount of time unless the burn ban is lifted by commissioners.

The order put in place does not prohibit outdoor burning for household trash or rubbish from a private residence.

The order does not prohibit outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety or activities authorized by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission for firefighter training, public utilities, natural gas or pipeline operations or burns that are conducted by a prescribed burn manager.