Local firefighters asked the Midland County Commissioners to put a burn ban in effect, and county commissioners passed it on Monday morning. With the ban in place, no one can burn any trash in the county. If they do, it'll cost them up to $500 in fines, according to Midland County Fire Marshall Dale Little.
Little says that the Midland Fire Department won't actively be patrolling, looking for burning. But if they get reports, they'll check them out. And if they go to any fires, they'll be writing tickets.
Meanwhile, the Ector County Commissioners also decided to institute a burn ban decision on Monday. The decision comes after they heard about how a trailer caught fire in West Odessa. That fire started when some people were burning trash, and West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department says a burn ban is desperately needed.
"I think it's a wise decision on a lot of parts, because we're way dry, the fuel is way high, and it's a disastrous situation on the making, and the more we can slow it down the better off we are," West Odessa Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy Ellis told Big 2.
The ban means it's also illegal to burn trash in Ector County as well. Welding isn't regulated at this time, but Chief Ellis says if you need to do any welding, make sure you have water on hand to douse a fire if it starts.
The Texas Forest Service says there are numerous other counties that have passed burn bans as the weather has gotten drier. Martin, Winkler, Ward, Upton, Reagan, and Pecos Counties are among the West Texas counties with a ban. All of the counties around Big Bend National Park - such as Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis County - also have a ban in effect.