HOUSTON – With the weather starting to change, and the temperatures reaching that spring level, people are beginning to emerge from their homes.

However, this brings with it certain challenges, especially in regards to burning.

“This time of year it gets pretty, the temperatures are wonderful and they think the ground's wet, it's not going to spread anywhere, but it's misleading,” said Chickasaw County Fire Coordinator Jonathan Blankenship. “The winds that we have will dry the grass while the ground stays wet, so that grass will burn really easily. So, be real careful, this is the windy time of year, fires easily get away from people right now.”

He said that there are other aspects at play too, such as liability for damage and injury.

“People need to keep in mind that if you start a fire and your fire spreads, and causes injury to someone else's property, you can be liable for that.”

He said that this time of year is the worst for grass and brush fires because people are anxious to get outside because the weather is nice, and as such, they begin burning to clear debris left over from the winter, but the fire gets away from them because of the winds paired with the deceptively dry grass.

Just last Monday alone, there were three grass/brush fires that were called in to 911 throughout the county. This could be a precursor for what is to come if people do not heed warnings.

“Houston last year responded to about 15, but that was not a normal year because it rained so much last year that people did not burn as much, but normally it's double to triple that, and that's just for us. Then you add in the rest of the county.”

He said that he is just asking that everyone be aware of their surroundings and make sure that they take all precautions before setting a fire this spring.

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