UPDATE

Aurora issues declaration banning fireworks, burning


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The city of Aurora banned fireworks and outdoor burning within its city limits Tuesday.
Mayor Terry Solomon issued a local disaster declaration related to the risk of wildfire.
Along with the ban, the city issued a warning that residents could face fines between $500 and $1,000 for violations. The declaration prohibits fireworks for 60 hours and outdoor burning for up to seven days.
The city contracts with four deputies from the Wise County Sheriff’s Office for 32 hours per week of police coverage and patrol.
Most Wise County cities prohibit fireworks. New Fairview previously posted a ban of fireworks due to drought.
According to the National Weather Service office in Forth Worth, there was an elevated fire risk Tuesday with temperatures expected to reach triple digits. The elevated risk is expected to persist through Wednesday, the Fourth of July.
With the elevated fire risk, Wise County also has a burn ban in place. A violation of the ban is punishable by a $500 fine. A fire that damages property belonging to another property owner is also punishable with by a $500 fine and court ordered restitution. Outdoor burning that results in death, injury, or damages a building belonging to another may result in two years in state jail, a fine up to $10,000 and court ordered restitution. There may also be additional criminal and civil liability.
In Tuesday’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index, which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county was at an average of 631. The high in the county was 686. The index goes to 800, which represents completely dry conditions.

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