The Bexar County Commissioners Court approved an order Wednesday restricting outdoor burning in unincorporated Bexar County.

The ban went into effect immediately because of dry weather conditions and heavy fuel loads on the ground. It is set to expire on June 24, or sooner if the court finds that a public safety hazard no longer exists.

The order allows burning of household trash or other domestic waste material if a burn barrel with a metal wire mesh screen is used to prevent the spread of sparks and flames.

Other exceptions include firefighting training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; planting or harvesting of agricultural crops; or burns conducted by a prescribed burn manager.

A violation of the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.