TEXARKANA, Texas - Hot and dry conditions continue across the ArkLaTex, and even more communities are putting burn bans in place. There are about 11 county burn bans in Arkansas and 172 in Texas. Bowie County is latest to be added to the list.
Fire officials say they stayed busy last weekend putting out multiple outdoor field and wood fires with property damage. In one case, nearly 30 to 40 acres burned along with farm equipment, a barn, trucks and several bales of hay.
Bowie County Deputy Fire Marshal Scottie Taylor says even without the burn ban they issued five citations this past weekend.
Taylor said no outdoor burning will be allowed while the county is under a ban.
"In Bowie County, it's $567 if fire damages someone else's property, or if it burns someone's residential habitation it can even be a felony," explained Taylor.
Taylor suggests keeping an eye on heat and fire safety, such as not dragging chains on the road or throwing lit cigarettes out the window. He's also advising property owners to cut back extra vegetation.
Forestry officials say arson and debris fires continue to be the highest causes for wildfires in the U.S.
If you see even a small fire, officials say it should be reported to your local fire department.