Hazardous conditions mean fire danger remains in ETX - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hazardous conditions mean fire danger remains in ETX

by Jamey Boyum

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The area burn ban was lifted months ago, but with windy conditions and rainfall amounts still under the average, firefighters say you need to be careful burning in the county.

"We're just starting to have our spring green up, so we have a lot of dry, dead vegetation out here. And, all it takes is just a little spark from what starts as a controlled burn. It gets out of control really quickly," said Jim Seaton, Smith County Fire Marshall.

Last summer we saw firsthand just how bad it could get. This fire on County Road 235 claimed several homes. It was fueled by dried out vegetation.

"What little bit of rain that we've received so far has given us slightly wet conditions on the ground, but our vegetation above the ground is still dry," Jim pointed out.

There have been several grass fires reported in the area in the last few days, mostly sparked by controlled burns.

"We're finding out that a lot of people that are doing the controlled burns are not taking the proper precautions on the scene. They don't have a water supply; the only means they really have to put out a fire is the rake they just used to rake up the leaves. And, it's really not sufficient," he stated.

His advice: always burn with a good supply of water, and use common sense.

Fire Marshall Jim Seaton says his office is giving out tickets and fines for burn violations when the flames spread to a neighboring property.  

Powered by Frankly