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The Bell and Milam County Commissioners Courts have approved burn bans due to the increase in drought-like conditionsa.

The Bell county ban will remain in effect until 10 A.M. August 5 and prohibits any sort of outdoor fire, including campfires, fireworks and the burning of garbage. The Bell County Fire Marshall’s office has reported around 35 fires since July 4 alone, and anyone caught violating the ban could face Class C misdemeanor charges and a fine of up to $500.

The Milam County ban will last 90 days or until the Commissioners Court deems it no longer necessary. In addition to several fires on July 4, the Cameron Fire Department has responded to at least three fires caused by negligence, including a burning garbage pile left unattended while the resident who started it napped.

Readers can find more information about burn bans in the Central Texas region by visiting the Texas A&M Forest Service website. The site features a map of current bans.