Several brush fires broke out on Wednesday and Thursday after Somervell County Commissioners temporarily lifted a burn ban.

Somervell County Fire Department crews responded to three or four small fires, said John Cummins, assistant chief.

The largest one Wednesday was off of FM 205 northwest of Dinosaur Valley State Park.

Cummins said that although the ban has been lifted and it has rained recently, dry fuel remains on the ground.

"We go through this every time a ban is lifted," he said.

Residents who want to burn brush piles should keep at least a 50-foot-wide clear area around the pile, Cummins added.

The fire department quickly contained the blaze Wednesday afternoon.

“Recent rains have been beneficial and we are currently experiencing a lull in fire activity, but the underlying drought still poses a threat for significant wildfires throughout much of the state,” said Karen Stafford, a wildland urban interface specialist with Texas Forest Service.

Recent rains have prompted county government officials to lift burn bans in 17 Texas counties over the past week, the Texas Forest Service reported.

"Debris burning is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas," the Forest Service said. "Due to recently-lifted burn bans, this weekend may be a prime time for landowners to dispose of their trash."

So far this year, more than 600 wildfires charring 39,602 acres were caused by debris burning, the Forest Service said.

The agency offers these safety tips while burning outdoors:

* Clear a 10-foot radius around your burn pile, removing all vegetation and flammable materials.

* Avoid overhead obstructions like trees and power lines, and don’t burn near structures.

* Wet the area around the burn pile.

* Never leave a fire unattended.

* Keep water and hand tools nearby.

Since fire season began last November, almost four million acres have burned across the state.