Grilling ban extended to Conroe, The Woodlands due to fire danger

September 26, 2011 4:43:30 AM PDT
A change in weather conditions has authorities across the Houston area on the lookout for fires and enforcing bans on outdoor cooking at parks.

The Texas Forest Service says the combination of strong winds, dry air and warm temperatures has created critical fire conditions. It's led to several small fires. Authorities expect to see more, thanks to the drought which has left behind so much dried and dead vegetation.

"Wind increases the oxygen, which accelerates the fire behavior," said Rocky Opliger with the Texas Forest Service. "And so when those winds not only become fuel-dependent, but you have the fuels that are extremely dry, the wind adds that weather component, which makes them rapid moving fires because of the additional oxygen component to the wild fire."

Since the start of wildfire season last November, the Texas Forest Services has responded to more than 23,000 fires which have destroyed more than 2,700 homes.

Because of the extreme drought and on-going risk of fire, the City of Conroe and The Woodlands have banned outdoor grilling in city parks. All portable BBQ pits, charcoal grills and open-flame cooking devices are temporarily banned.

In The Woodlands, officials have already removed existing grills at parks.

Anyone caught violating the outdoor grilling ban, faces a Class C misdemeanor with a $500 fine.

You can read more about the outdoor grilling bans in The Woodlands Villager, one of our Houston Community Newspaper partners.

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