Montgomery County is currently experiencing “Exceptional Drought” conditions, with Fire Danger rated as “ Very High” .
Montgomery County and Surrounding Areas
Southeast Texas is experiencing historic drought conditions. Several wildfires have occurred in Montgomery County with most damage limited to vegetation and outbuildings. In the past 2 weeks these fires have been larger and are progressively harder to control. Although Montgomery County has not seen such catastrophic wildfires as the rest of Texas, current conditions should be cause for concern for all Montgomery County residents.
Firefighters from Montgomery County have responded to several major wildfires, with the most recent fires located in South Montgomery County. The Texas Forest Service has staged additional resources such as bulldozer teams and aircraft in Southeast Texas to meet the growing threat, and these resources have been instrumental in bringing the recent fires under control. Firefighters from Harris County, as well as State and Federal Forest Service units assisted in bringing these fires under control. Although some neighborhoods have been threatened by these fires, no homes have been lost.
The recent fires in South Montgomery County were both located in Montgomery County Emergency Services District #8. Chief Robert Hudson of the South Montgomery County Fire Department credited the coordinated efforts of the various agencies as the reason no homes were lost to those fires. “These wildland fires in a suburban environment require commitment of all our available manpower and equipment, requiring us to activate our mutual aid system to bring in additional resources.” His Department successfully managed both incidents with no loss to life or property.
Recommendations: Now is the time to look around your property and do what you can to prevent a wildfire from reaching your home.
- Move anything that will burn well away from structures, ( firewood, brush piles, etc )
- Clear straw and leaf litter from your roof and away from the sides of your home
- Cut back or preferably remove any dry or dead landscaping plants or bushes
- Mow your yard low at least 30 to 50 feet away and water to create defensible space
- Place garden hoses in strategic locations so that they are readily accessible
Current Burn Ban Status:
At this time Montgomery County is under a burn ban, therefore, no outdoor burning should be attempted. Residents are urged to postpone burning until conditions improve and the ban is lifted. Violation of the burn ban can result in a citation for a Class C Misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500.
Montgomery County has seen some damage to structures from recent wildfires, mostly outbuildings so far. Citations are pending in several recent cases. Most recent citations have been issued for burning household garbage, with some cited for reckless damage to property as well. Both violations are also Class C Misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500.