Grass fire dangers still possible despite cooler weather - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Grass fire dangers still possible despite cooler weather

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VAN ZANDT COUNTY (KYTX) - Weather conditions are leading to a large number of fires in east Texas. Since January first, the Van Zandt County fire marshal's office has responded to six house fires, and many grass fires.

Fire officials say there are some important things to keep in mind when you're burning.

A house fire in van Zandt county is putting fire fighters to work.

"It was an intense fire based on the high winds we've been experiencing, it took multiple departments from around  the department to bring this fire under control and to maintain the pasture fire from the blowing embers," said Van Zandt Fire Marshal Chuck Allen.

"It is a challenge and a lot of these fires are caused by unattended  burning, people not paying attention," Allen said.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation, but the high winds pushed the  flames from the house to the grass. The increase in grass fires are putting a strain on the already limited Van Zandt County fire resources.

Fire officials say just like during the summer time you really need to pay attention to your control burns even when it's cold outside. They say that dry ground and dry winds can really help fuel those  flames.

"These gusty winds we're getting out of the north and south is only  contributing to the growth of the spread of these wildfire, causing  multiple agencies to respond," said Allen.

During the colder months and even when there is  no burn ban, people should practice caution when burning...

If you must burn, try to do it early in the morning. And if you burn later in the day, do it when the wind isn't strong. Also, remember to  keep water and a cell phone handy to call in case it gets out of control.

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