Fire crews spent most of the night last night and almost all day today still attempting to extinguish the fire grass, woods and debris fire on FM1485 east at the county line.
Just after 3:30pm Jonathan Owens who has lived on FM 1485 just a short time walked outside to his truck to get his study material for his electrical license. As he looked across the street he saw heavy smoke rising from the woods. After yelling to his wife to call 911 he ran across the street to the source of the smoke. He said he saw a man with a hose to be what appeared to be watering down a trash fire that had gotten out of hand. Flames were running for his house and tires were burning everywhere.
Reports were coming in from everywhere in the county of the smoke column. Smoke was seen as far away as Highway 290 and State Highway 6 by a squadron of Apache helicopters en-route to do a missing man formation at the Houston National Cemetery at Veterans Memorial and Beltway 8. The column was also visible from that location.
As the New Caney Fire Department arrived Jonathan assisted them in pulling hose line. When he asked where the help is he was told it was on the way. New Caney requested mutual aid form multiple departments including Needham Road, Caney Creek, River Plantation, Porter, Huffman, Splendora, Plum Grove, Cleveland. In addition the Texas Forest Service sent two dozers and a track hoe to assist.
Water was in short supply and besides using a plug several miles away water was also being pumped from the San Jacinto River.
The layout of the land made moving around very difficult. Besides thousands of tires there was tons of construction debris including sheetrock, cans of paint thinner, wood, tile, brick even an old boat and two empty 500 gallon steel tanks. The land was covered with pits and ravines some almost fifteen feet deep.
According to the Texas Forest service who must do a complete survey of the burn area by using GPS instruments the fire was 6.1 acres total.
Late Saturday night most crews left but New Caney Fire Department remained on the scene. Early this morning Houston Fire Department started to get calls of smoke in the area and people were having difficulty breathing.
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office who had close FM1485 fro the day reopened it just to close it back to one lane again to get tankers in and slow traffic in the smoky conditions.
Sunday morning Commissioner Ed Rinehart dispatched a track hoe to the scene with an operator to assist the fire department.
Chief Jeff Taylor of the New Caney Fire Department praised all the departments that assisted and the Montgomery County Sheriffs Office, Constable Rowdy Haydens office and the Texas Forest Service. He also tanked Commissioner Rinehart for the equipment which was used to dig large holes, fill them with burning debris and cover them over with dirt.
Jonathan Owens whose little boy watched fire fighters at work has decided he wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Owens also praised the fire departments and the way they put their hearts into it and got the job done.
The fire remains under investigation as to the cause. Some thought it could have been caused by an arc on a power line but others said it was a trash fire.
Apparently the property owners planned on putting a go-kart track on the site and that was the reason for the tires.
Others told of many years ago another large fire burned at the same location. Some called this the largest fire they could remember involving debris and vegetation but others said the fire on FM1314 north of SH242 several years ago was much larger. In that fire abandon mulch piles ignited bringing firefighters from many departments and there fighting it overnight.
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VIEW AT TREE LINE FROM HOUSTON NATIONAL CEMETERY