GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Although we had a decent amount of rain last week the burn ban in Gregg County is still in effect. Law enforcement and emergency responders say conditions are ripe for wildfires to get out of control quickly.
We spoke with a Gregg County Deputy about potential dangers just a spark can cause, and if they request an evacuation it's for the safety of the public.
Josh Tubb speaks for the Gregg County Sheriff's Department and the fire marshal when he says choosing to burn during a ban endangers lives.
"You're not just affecting yourself. If a fire gets out of control it's affecting everyone in the area," Tubb said.
Although there is no official cause yet, the Williams Road fire on October 26 just north of Longview is a perfect example of how fast a small fire can grow.
'It quickly spread endangering homes lives and property, and we do not want to see that happen, Tubb stated.
Tubb says low humidity and recent windy days fan the flames, and not to be fooled by precipitation or dew.
"Whenever we get a little bit of rain, for some reason some folks assume that the burn ban has been lifted, but we want to make sure everyone knows that the burn ban is still in effect and it's because there is a fire danger in Gregg County," Tubb explained.
But with the tinder box that is Gregg County right now many things can start a wildfire.
"Lit cigarettes being thrown out of a car, that's already littering, but when that rolls to the side of a roadway you have the potential for fire. If you pull your vehicle over to the side of the road for some reason with that hot undercarriage you have a potential for fire," Tub said.
Dragging chains can throw sparks, and Tubb says check your tire pressure.
"That way you don't have a flat and have any kind of sparks from that," Tubb advised.
But if the wind drives a fire towards your house like on Williams Road and emergency responders are banging on your door:
"We strongly, strongly urge; if we ask you to evacuate do so immediately. We're doing that because we care," Tubb relayed.
At the Williams Road Fire half the neighborhood was evacuated. After talking with deputies Carl Shuck went on standby.
"I haven't been too worried but we're packed up in case they evacuated us. But it looks like they're getting it under control. It was a lot bigger than I thought," Shuck said.
Shuck didn't have to evacuate but if it comes to that it's more than just a suggestion. They say to get up, and get out so you have a life to get back to.
Monday morning the Gregg County Commissioner's Court will consider extending the burn ban.