In a unanimous vote early Tuesday afternoon, the McLennan County Commissioners Court issued a burn ban notice effective immediately.

In the notice, McLennan County Commissioners Court officials prohibited all outdoor fires, including fires contained in a container or semi-enclosure, such as a barrel or hopper.

Open grills, barbeques or smokers are also prohibited. However, fully-covered and closely attended grills, barbeques or smokers used to cook food are not prohibited by the ban.

The use of welders or cutting torches is prohibited "unless the user has on-hand adequate fire suppression equipment and personnel."

Such requirements include:

  • a 2A-20BC fire extinguisher, kept within 30 feet of any outdoor welding activity
  • an individual to serve as a "fire monitor" during all welding activities with the monitor remaining on the scene for a minimum of 30 minutes after cessation of any outdoor welding activity.

The order does not prohibit outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for: firefighter training, public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations, planting or harvesting of agricultural crops, or bums that are conducted by a prescribed bum manager certified under Section 153.048, Natural Resources Code, and meets the standards of Section 153.047, Natural Resources Code.

Local weather forecasts indicating dry, windy conditions prompted the vote on the notice, a McLennan County press release stated.