County Departments continue to respond to grass fires due to high winds and low humidity. Two chimney fires reported Christmas Day.
Rainfall amounts from Friday night’s passing cold front did little to reduce the threat of wildfires as high winds and low humidity have quickly dried out dead vegetation and brush in SE Texas. Montgomery County Firefighters responded to 89 calls for service on Christmas day, including 2 chimney fires and numerous calls for outdoor burning which led to at least 1 wildfire.
Current forecasts call for several more days of dry weather before the next chance of rain. Humidity levels today are forecast to fall below 30%. Humidity levels this low and steady winds can easily cause embers from a trash or brush fire to escape and start a wildfire.
As temperatures plummet into the 20s, residents are reminded to be cautious when using alternative heat sources. Stoves should never be used for home heating, and space heaters should not be left on when you go to sleep. Remember that you should always “give your space heater space” keeping it at least 3 feet away from anything that will burn.
Montgomery County experienced a rash of home heating fires just one year ago when several nights of below freezing weather hit the area in early January.
With the ban on outdoor burning, some may be tempted to burn wrapping paper or other Christmas packaging in their fireplace or wood-burning stoves. On Christmas Day, Montgomery County Firefighters responded to two reported chimney fires. Burning paper in the fireplace can easily ignite built up creosote and start a fire inside your home’s chimney.
For more information on home heating fires follow the attached link.