Brown County Commissioners opted Monday to leave the burn ban in place, although they approved a notable exception that will allow two large fires at Camp Bowie during the this year's installment of the Central Texas Wildfire Academy.

The academy is Feb. 13-17, and there will be a training burn consisting of 300 to 500 acres off FM 45, and a larger burn of 1,000 to 1,200 acres at the request of the National Guard, Dam Fire Chief Chris Weber told commissioners.

The academy is sponsored by the Dam Volunteer Fire Department and Texas A&M Forest Service.

About 80 firefighters participated in last year's academy, which included about 60 staff members, Weber told commissioners earlier.

Numerous fire engines and bulldozers will be at the burn sites, Weber told commissioners.

Brown County Judge Ray West said even with a burn ban in effect, people can request permission to burn by contacting their commissioners, who then notify the sheriff's office and fire departments, West said.

In other business, commissioners:

Approved a 39-month electricity contracted with TXU Electric.

Authorized the purchase of a commercial grade shredder for $1,635, the contract purchase price through Staples. The shredder will be placed in the tax assessor-collector's office but will be available for all of the courthouse offices to use.

Approved a $2,742 purchase of signs and crowd control barriers for early voting and election day.