Firefighters say despite no burn ban, fire danger still high in Angelina County

Firefighters say despite no burn ban, fire danger still high in Angelina County
Updated: Sep. 17, 2019 at 5:09 PM CDT
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ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Firefighters in Angelina County are urging residents to avoid burning of any kind as the threat of wildfires remains in East Texas.

As of Sept. 17, at least 172 Texas counties were under a burn ban, but Angelina County was not one of them. However, firefighters at the Fuller Springs Fire Department said it didn’t mean they weren’t busy.

“We got called out for a brush fire in the City of Huntington, over there off of 326 and they called for assistance,” said Lt. Kent Childers.

It didn’t take long for their call list to pile up. Childers said on the way to deal with the fire on CR 326, the department got another call over on the other side of town.

“That ended up diverting resources," said Childers. "We had to call more departments out. At the same time, there was a third fire call.”

In less than 30 minutes there had been five calls to brush and grass fires in Angelina County. The county isn’t under a burn ban, but Childers said that brush fires are still a real danger, even after a day or two of rain.

“Even a good day of rain; the ground is so dry, it soaks up all that water and we still have all that brush and the dry grass on top.”

Lufkin Fire Department responded to calls for aid from Fuller Springs as well. Deputy Fire Marshall Wade Modessette said people often underestimate how series a small brush fire can become.

“They spread very quickly and get out of control way faster than you think they can,” said Modessette. “So, before long, a small little brush fire or trash fire can really get out of hand.”

Without the restrictions of a burn ban, both fire departments said it’s important for residents in the area to police themselves.

“A lot of times what it is is people burning trash, people burning property off, and just not having the proper resources out there to do that,” Modessette explained. “You’ve got to be out there with it the entire time with a hose close by, hooked up so that if it does get out of hand, you can hopefully put it out or control it quickly.”

“You could have a small pile burning and the wind picks up and blows one little ember and it can light the woods on fire next to you, or spread it through your grass and start your yard on fire, or go into your neighbor’s property,” Childers added.

The Texas Forestry Service reported that 90 percent of all wildfires in Texas are caused by people, and that most are the result of careless debris burning.

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