Dry, windy weather conditions in Houston area have firefighters on high alert

March 23, 2013 8:16:35 PM PDT
Firefighters across the area have been busy in the recent weeks dealing with several brush fires. And Sunday could be another busy day due to changing weather conditions.

Area firefighters have had to fight at least a half a dozen brush or grass fires recently. Just two days ago, we had a brush fire threatening an apartment complex in southeast Houston.

Any brush fire has the potential of getting out of control. That's especially true Sunday so firefighters are preparing in case Sunday's weather causes problems.

Officials with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office are on hire alert. They warn that if a fire does start, it likely will spread quickly.

It doesn't take long for flames to overcome entire neighborhoods.

"Every time I hear sirens going on, I'm wondering if it's my house," Amanda Ingersol told Eyewitness News when a grass fire in Spring ignited near her home last weekend.

In Harris County, firefighters have battled several fires recently. The fire in Spring took two days to put out.

And on Saturday night, the fire marshal has moved the fire threat from moderate to high.

"We're kind of seeing a pattern like what we had a couple of years ago in 2011. We're having dry conditions and no rain, and obviously, the weather patterns are changing," said Lt. Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.

He says Sunday's expected low humidity and strong winds have firefighters on high alert.

"Wind is always a factor. The wind will drive the fires, make them move quickly," he said.

The fire marshal's office isn't instituting any burn bans but does ask that you use common sense.

"We do recommend that you not do any outdoor burning right now. If you're going to be outside cooking, campfires and things like that, you should monitor those closely and not leave them unattended," Hensley said.

The fire threat warning expires at 7pm Sunday, and at that point, fire officials will reassess weather conditions.

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