During their meeting of May 23rd, the Mason County Commissioners' Court voted to renew the burn ban for Mason County. Burn bans only stay in effect for 90 days, so it was necessary for the Court to either allow the current ban to expire or to issue a new ban for another 90 days.After examining rainfall in the county and talking to emergency responders for the area, the Commissioners decided to lift the Declaration of Emergency that had been in effect since March; but, to issue a new burn ban. This ban will remain in effect for 90 days unless the court votes to lift it during that period. At the end of the 90 days, if the ban is still in effect, the Court will examine conditions at that time to determine their next course of action.The burn ban conditions are outlined below for the convenience of our readers.A. Outdoor welding and other hot work will only be permitted under certain conditions: 1. A spotter is required for each welder. 2. A perimeter of at least 25 geet shall be clear of vegetation and continued to be kept wet. 3. A minimum of 100 gallons of water must be available on site. 4. A minimum of one water pressure fire extinguisher per spotter must be available on site. 5. Wind speeds must be no greater than 15 m.p.h. to weld. 6. Humidity index of 20% or higher as determined by the Texas Forest Service for Mason County. 7. Welding in an enclosed area is acceptable. 8. Each site will have a cellular telephone or other form of communication for emergency response.B. Burning of agricultural crops and prickly pear will only be allowed under certain conditions: 1. Prior to each day's burn, the Mason County Sheriff's dispatcher must be notified by calling 325-347-5252. 2. Caller must specifically identify the area of the burn by proximity to county/state roads, and must identify themselves by name. 3. A water sprayer or water containers must be available on site. 4. Fire guards (road beds, canyons, cattle trails, wind breaks) should be used whenever possible. 5. Wind speed should not exceed 15 m.p.h. 6. Humidity index of 20% or higher as determined by the Texas Forest Service for Mason County. 7. A cellular telephone or other communication must be available on site. 8. An exemption to the burn ban shall be allowed for agricultural use for members belonging to the Edwards Plateau Prescribed Burn Association to conduct prescribed burns following proper guidelines, and by filing a properly executed burn plan with the County Judge's office prior to conducting the burn.C. Commercial barbecue establishments from a fixed location and maintaining a State sales tax permit, and/or personal barbecue fueled by propane are allowed.D. A Commissioner may exempt a weekend "benefit" barbecue after a request for permission shows evidence that all safety measures have been considered.A violation of this order is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable with a fine up to $500.