Burn and firework ban go into effect

Both bans expected to last until July 9th

BELL COUNTY - Central Texas is under it's first burn ban of the year, it went into effect at sunrise.

But, the order extends past burning outside, it also includes certain types of fireworks.

"It's those that go somewhere else other than their own property, have the potential to set something on fire," said Bell County Judge Jon H. Burrows.

That means, no setting off "Skyrockets with sticks" or "Missiles with fins."

"Before the Fourth of July season, I'll go to each firework distributor and make sure that they don't have sticks and fins," said Bell County Fire Marshal Steven Casey.



This all comes after Bell County Commissioners voted Monday that the fire danger is now enhanced by the extremely dry conditions.

"We use an index that the Texas Forest Service used to determine whether or not we are in drought conditions, and we are in drought conditions," said Judge Burrows.

The forest service's drought index has most of Bell County in the 500 to 600 range with a 471 average.

"The spring has been really dry and due to the hot dry conditions and we haven't had rain in a while," said Casey.

This weekend, we might get lucky, there's a 40 to 50% chance of rain.

"If we receive several days of rain 3 or 4 inches in all throughout the county, it can't just be one part, then there's a chance that the commissioners can decide to pull that burn ban, but that's probably not going to happen," said Casey.

If you're caught burning outside, it's a class C misdemeanor that includes a fine of up to $500.

"Our goal is not to fine people, our goal is to protect people and so if that's an incentive to not violate the law then that's an incentive. Our real goal is to make people use common sense," said Judge Burrows.

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