Conroe, Tx October 25, 2010
The change of seasons and cooler temperatures has many residents taking to the outdoors for recreation and fall yardwork. While there can be no argument that recent weather conditions are favorable for working outside and enjoying the outdoors, they are also ideal conditions in which wildfires can start and quickly spread.
Montgomery County Fire Departments have seen an increase in the number of wildfires over the past few weeks, several of which have damaged outbuildings or houses. A lack of adequate rainfall has left East Texas vulnerable to wildfires, and Montgomery County is no exception. Our current average Keetch Byram Drought Index is over 650, with some areas of the County over 700 KBDI. The maximum drought index number is 800, and our current levels indicate that we are experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions throughout the County.
Montgomery County has adopted an Outdoor Burning Ban effective immediately. Most County residents have already heeded previous warnings and voluntarily ceased burning, but this order prohibits any further burning immediately. Violations could result in a citation and fine of up to $500. This is in addition to any civil liability for property damage caused by prohibited burning.
The Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office is asking that all residents work together to prevent any further wildfires and reduce the increasing number of nuisance calls related to outdoor burning. Area firefighters are responding to numerous calls for service where the person burning is simply unaware of the current danger. Please remind your neighbors of the burn ban first before calling Firefighters or Law Enforcement, so that our Firefighters may remain ready to respond in the event of an emergency.
For more information on current conditions or the status of the ban, go to our website www.mctx.org/fire and click on outdoor burning. You should always check first before attempting any outdoor burning.