Warmer weather, low rain could lead to an east Texas burn ban

SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - A couple months ago, most Texas burn bans were isolated to much of west Texas, but the fire threat in east Texas in now moderate as more and more counties nearby are putting burn bans into place.

 A lot of heat and little rain, are the perfect combination for grass fires. Thursday the Chapel Hill volunteer fire department fought one. 

"The wind changed directions and it did what we call it, blew up on us. it started crowning in the treetops," said Lt. Daniel Prather with the Chapel Hill department. He said, if Smith County doesn't see more rain in the next 30 days, a burn ban may become a reality.

"The commissioner keep an eye on the KBDI drought index. It's a statewide drought index measures the amount of moisture in the vegetation and the soil," Prather said.

Factors that can turn a small fire into something bigger. That was almost the case at a house fire on County Road 288. The cause of the fire in under investigation, fire crews feared the flames would ignite  trees around the house, but they kept it under control.

"We live in a place with a bunch of trees anyway so anything caught it seems like it spread so easily," said Cade Koonce who lives near the house fire.

"The flames got so high that it was lighting some of the trees on fire," said Spencer Chapman who is friends with Koonce.

Fire officials said grass fires are commonly caused by human error. From barbeque mishaps to controlled burns and right now fireworks.

Prather said caution is the best way to cut down on human error.     



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