Bexar County judge issues disaster declaration amid dangerous fire conditions

Fire marshal will recommend burn ban to Commissioners Court on April 19

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued a disaster declaration that includes a ban on outdoor burning amid dangerous fire conditions in the San Antonio area.

The declaration issued Tuesday is in effect until April 19, when the fire marshal will recommend to the full Commissioners Court to enact a burn ban during its next meeting.

Maps: Texas Burn Bans by County and statewide Drought Monitor

Officials say Wolff consulted with the county fire marshal and emergency management coordinator to discuss the disaster declaration to help protect residents and their properties.

Bexar County Fire Marshal Chris Lopez said a burn ban can only be issued after reaching a specific drought level index.

“Once that condition is met, we have to present the burn ban proclamation to Commissioners Court for approval,” he said. “We came to recognize that appeals and recommendations are no longer enough.”

Officials said the recent rapid spread of brush fires in the area and neighboring counties has increased the need for more assertive action.

Wolff said there is no time to wait for everyone to do their part to prevent more wildfires.

“With conditions like this, we had to step in and do everything within our means to minimize the fire danger,” he said.

Those who violate the disaster declaration and its stipulations face a fine of up to $1,000.

“We encourage all citizens to timely report any fires. In order to minimize the fire danger, all citizens will need to follow the disaster declaration with no outdoor burning,” Wolff said.

See the declaration below or click here if you cannot see it.

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About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.