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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Harris County Fire Marshal's Office
News Release
Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Burn Ban and Fire Danger Continues

The extended drought conditions continue to have a significant impact on fire danger conditions throughout Harris County.  The KBDI (drought index) is 691 today and is expected to reach 700 by the weekend.

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office reported:

  • 76 outdoor fires were reported in unincorporated areas of Harris County
  • 380 acres burned
  • 0 evacuations
  • 0 structures lost
  • 0 firefighters injured
  • 9 fire investigations conducted
  • 1 Fire Marshal Order issued
  • 6 citations issued for violation of the burn ban
  • 5 fireworks charges filed
  • 161 fireworks-related disturbance calls
  • 1 Emergency Operation Center Activation

The greatest fire weather concerns are dry fuels, gusty winds and air-to-ground lightning.  Since mid-April, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office has documented the following in the unincorporated areas:

  • 1,230 outdoor fires reported in unincorporated areas
  • 6,750 acres burned
  • 204 evacuations
  • 1 structure lost
  • 2 firefighters injured
  • 98 investigations conducted
  • 26 Fire Marshal Orders issued
  • 38 citations issued for violation of the burn ban
  • 5 on-scene deployments/fires
  • 2 Emergency Operation Center activations

“We’re still headed into the hottest time of the year,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery.  “KBDI levels remain unprecendented for this time of year and will continue to rise until the area experiences major rainfall.”

Montgomery added, “Local fire departments and Texas Forestry crews have done an excellent job keeping fires under control with no loss of life.  But we still need residents to continue to comply with the burn ban, survey their property and take a few simple steps to protect their property in the event of a wildfire.” 

The steps include:

  • Clearing roofs and gutters of leaves and pine needles
  • Removing tree branches to a height of 15 feet
  • Placing connected garden hoses at all sides of the house
  • Having firefighting tools handy – a ladder to reach the roof, a shovel, a rake and 1-2 buckets for water
  • Ensure your family knows all emergecny exits from the home and from the neighborhood  

Montgomery emphasized that if you see an unattended fire, call 9-1-1 and notify your local fire department immediately.

Even a small fire can spread quickly in dry fuel. 

To report a complaint or request additional information online regarding the burn ban, please go to:   www.hcfmo.net

For additional information regarding wildfire safety tips, go to:  Texas Forest Service




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