October 1, 2022 11:54 am

rotator
rotator
Posted: 9.8.2022 13:08

Fire Activity increasing as Drought Intensifies across Southeast Texas

Residents are urged to take measures now to prevent wildfires and minimize the risk of damage to homes during a wildfire event.  

 


New wildfires have been breaking out all over the state in the last 7 days and southeast Texas is no exception.   The average drought index reading for Montgomery County is now 741, while some portions of the county are at 787, a reading almost at the top of the scale.  A maximum drought reading of 800 would indicate that it would take 8 or more inches of rainfall to completely saturate the ground.   Under these conditions, intense, deep-burning wildfires with significant downwind spotting and spread potential can be expected.  

In Montgomery County, a Burn Ban has been in place since July 5th for all unincorporated parts of the County.  In the past two weeks, Deputy Fire Marshals have shifted from education to enforcement, issuing nearly 100 citations up to this point to those that choose to ignore the ban.  Residents are urged to comply with the ban and cease any outdoor burning until the ban is lifted.  While the ban does not prohibit grilling outdoors, extreme caution should be used if you decide to cook outside.  Under our current drought conditions, anyone that starts a wildfire by any means could face midemeanor charges of reckless damage or even felony reckless arson if the fire causes property damage or injuries.

 

In addition to not burning, residents should take precautions now to make their property less vulnerable to wildfire.  Concentrate first on your home and the area up to 5 ft away as this is the most important zone to take immediate action and is the most vulnerable to embers. 

 

Immediate zone

The home and the area 0-5’ from the furthest attached exterior point of the home; are defined as a non-combustible area.

  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
  • Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
  • Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers.
  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. 

 

9/9/11 MAGNOLIA WILDFIRE

9/9/11 MAGNOLIA WILDFIRE
9/9/11 MAGNOLIA WILDFIRE
9/9/11 MAGNOLIA WILDFIRE


2011 GROVETON WILDFIRE


2011 SAN JACINTO COUNTY WILDFIRE


2011 PLUM GROVE WILDFIRE