During their regular meeting of September 12, 2011, the Mason County Commissioners' Court addressed the ongoing drought affecting Mason County and the state of Texas.The burn ban for the county was renewed for an additional 90 days. The county can cancel a burn ban at any time, should conditions change.The Court then addressed the Declaration of Disaster, which was also set to automatically expire and voted to renew the Declaration, which will remain in effect until such time as the County decides conditions have improved and the situation no longer requires the heightened guidelines of the Disaster Declaration.Under the Burn Ban/Disaster Declaration, the following actions are prohibited:- All outdoor burning of any combustible material is prohibited. The order does not prohibit cooking stoves fueled by "white gasoline" or outdoor cooking grills fueled by propane or natural gas. The Order also does not prophibit outdoor cooking events that are continuously monitored and overseen by fire department personnel armed with equipment capable of extinguishing any fire that may result from such activities.- The sale and use of all fireworks is prohibited.- Welding activities that are not in compliance with Mason County Welding regulations. Under those guidelines, a spotter is required for each welder; a 25-foot perimeter should be cleared around the welding area; a minimum of 100 gallons of water must be available on site; a fire extinguisher must be on site; wind speeds should not exceed 15 miles per hour; humidity should be above 20%; and, a cellular phone or form of communication must be available. Welding in an enclosed area is acceptable.Burning of prickly pear is acceptable; but, certain conditions do apply:- Sheriff's dispatch should be notified of the burning.- Notify the Sheriff's department of exactly where the burn is occuring.- A water sprayer should be on hand.- Fire guards should be used.- Wind speeds should be below 15 miles per hour.- Humidity index should be above 20%.- Cellular phone or form of communication should be available.- Exemptions of the burn ban may be granted for agricultural use for members of the Edwards Plateau Burn Association to conduct prescribed burns.Commercial barbecue establishments in a fixed location may be exempted.Commissioners may exempt a weekend "benefit" barbecue after a request for permission, and evidence of adherence to safety measures has been demonstrated.