Local

Brush fire burns near Tomball

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Firefighters worked to put out a large grass and tree fire near Tomball Saturday. The dry conditions made it difficult. They battled the fire for most of Saturday afternoon and it is now contained.

The fire ate up around 36 acres near FM 2920 and Mahaffey. Part of 2920 had to be been shut down.

Thick smoke crept from deep inside the wooded area where the fire started.

"We found a tree that's down on a power line back here in the woods," said Lt. Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office. "It seems to be what sparked the fire."

The fire quickly spread across dry land and brush and came dangerously close to several homes.

"There was originally a couple of homes close to where it started, but the fire moved away from there,' said Ralph Cullom with the Texas Forest Service. "So no homes burned. Nothing in danger right now."

It took crews from 12 fire departments to tackle the brush fire. They say the extremely dry weather, strong winds, low humidity and severe drought is allowing fires like this to get out of control.

"Fires are not acting like they normally would because of this drought condition that we are in," said Cullom. "It's very hard for the volunteer fire departments and the Texas Forest Service to control the fire."

Emergency workers say only one thing will help them get a handle on a rash of brush fires like this.

"You know, we need some rain," said Hensley. "That's really what's going to help a lot of this."

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