Small Burn Pile Gets Out of Control

The forest fire on Beauchamp Road just south of Huntington is now under control, but it wasn't easy for firefighters to put it out. The family living in a nearby trailer burned a pile of debris behind their home Monday night. They thought the fire was completely out before they went to bed.

Jerry LaSalle, Huntington fire chief, said, "The neighbor said they were burning [Monday]afternoon and they probably burned through the night. When the temperature and the humidity gets right, it'll catch back up again."

Outdoor fires are no longer restricted in Angelina County, but East Texas weather conditions are still not ideal for burning.

"You still need to be careful," said Steve Anderson, Forest Resource Specialist, Texas Forest Service. "You still need to watch your fire; make sure you keep an eye on it. Have water available or something available to control it if it does start getting out."

Even if a burn pile - no matter how small - is no longer smoking, it doesn't take much for a fire to kick up again, even when there's a drop in temperature.

"On a day like [Tuesday] - right after a cold front - humidity will get real low and the fuels are brought back out and the fires will catch back up," Anderson said.

The best advice is this:  Do not burn outdoors unless you can watch the fire closely. After months without rain, it's easy for fires to burn out of control if nobody is around.

About three or four acres of five-year-old pine trees were destroyed in the fire.