Ditch the cigarettes and leave your grills at home because as of September 8, the burn ban is back for all City of Austin parks, greenbelts and reserves.
Thanks to the hot and dry conditions throughout Central Texas, Austin Parks and Recreation Department has issued the ban which prohibits smoking and the building of fires in public outdoor spaces. Unfortunately, this also includes barbecue pits, grills and smokers, so make sure to plan your next barbecue accordingly. (Side note: Propane stoves are still allowed.)
It should be noted, however, that smoking cigarettes in public parks, libraries, buses or within 15 feet of an entrance is always prohibited. We guess it's one of those things that just isn't really enforced, like the Texas law that prohibits taking three sips of beer while standing. (It's true, you can look it up.)
And lest you think you'll still be able to sneak a smoke, Austin Parks and Recreation is serious about enforcement — and is bringing out the big guns. Austin Police Department Park Police and Park Rangers will be issuing citations which range from $300-$500. Austin Parks and Recreation will continue to monitor the ban and lift it when cooler, wetter conditions return.