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MARBLE FALLS — Though officials agree it makes sense to someday unify the far-flung fire departments in Burnet County under one command, it won’t happen soon because of the political firestorm the issue poses.

Some officials say the move could save money, bolster resources, augment manpower and streamline services, but others note it could also rob communities of their identities and reduce the autonomy volunteer departments now enjoy.

But it’s not without precedent. More than a decade ago about a dozen ambulance companies in the county shrank to two services, and leaders in neighboring Travis County are considering a proposal to centralize all non-Austin fire departments.