Grass Fires Across The Area - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/25/05-Henderson County/Today

Grass Fires Across The Area

This grass fire started when someone threw a cigarette butt on the ground, instead of into an ashtray where it belonged. Quickly, firemen say, it grew out of control.

Jim Brown is the fire chief for Baxter Volunteer Fire Department.

He said, "Well, we didn't know exactly what we had. There was so much smoke, and so much fire, that it was everywhere. We called for back-up, extra trucks, the forrestry service."

At least fifteen volunteer fireman battled this blaze, but in the end, 12 acres, plus a mobile home went up in flames. Firemen say both sides of this county road are charred because of high winds.

"It jumped the road. It never slowed down when it hit the road," Brown said.

If a cigarette can do this much damage, imagine an outdoor burn gone awry. Just two days ago, the burn ban in Henderson County was lifted. Firemen say in spite of that, this is not a good time to be doing any outdoor burning.

"I understand they're under pressure from people needing to burn, but it's not a good time, and the forrest service has issued a long range forecast. 90 days. Don't expect any major rainfall for 90 days. So we got this coming all winter," Brown said. 

If you have to do some outdoor burning, and it's permitted where you live, here are some tips to help protect you and your home.

First, check with your fire department for a recommended receptacle if you must burn trash.

Never attempt to burn aerosol cans.

Do not burn on dry windy, days like today.

And finally, consider a safer alternative for lawn clean up. Compost your leaves, your grass and your stubble.

Firemen warn, the best tip to keep this from happening to your land is to not burn at all, until we get a little rain relief.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:

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