Burn Ban Approved for Montgomery County
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX - Montgomery County Firefighters responded to an increasing number of wildfires this past weekend as temperatures once again soared across the region. The average Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI) reading reached 651 last Friday, a level that indicates the area would need 6 1//2” of rainfall to be fully saturated. KBDI readings above 650 are a reliable indicator of increased wildfire danger during our summer fire season in Montgomery County. As predicted, the number of wildfires jumped to 15 on Saturday and 16 on Sunday, with several fires causing damage to outbuildings or other property.
The Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office recommended the implementation of a burn ban during this morning’s Commissioner’s Court meeting, briefing the court on the current and expected wildfire risk. The court approved the ban, which will go into effect immediately. Although the ban could last as long as 90 days under state statutes, it can be withdrawn as soon as our current weather pattern relents and conditions return to normal.
During a typical wildfire season, the vast majority of fires are the result of human activity, with outdoor burning responsible for as much as 90% of all wildfire starts. Violation of the burn ban is a Class C Misdemeanor with fines up to $500.
Montgomery County residents are reminded that the burning of household rubbish is prohibited year round in subdivisions and small tracts of land less than 5 acres in size.
Violators can also be cited for a Class C Misdemeanor for burning trash at any time, regardless of whether or not a burn ban is in effect.
All commercial burning is prohibited year round and land clearing debris may not be burned on the surface of the ground as it is a violation of state air quality regulations.
The National Weather Service predicts that Southeast Texas may see sporadic rainfall today and Wednesday, before high pressure once again settles in over the area.