Spring Starts Beginning of Brush Fire Season in West Texas

Spring Starts Beginning of Brush Fire Season in West Texas

by Zora Asberry

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Spring time is brush fire season in West Texas and officials say that with the high winds and high temperatures, it doesn't take much for a brush fire to start.

Jimmy Ellis, Fire Chief of the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department, said, "Somebody could drop a bolt or drag a chain and anything that sets a spark will set a fire."

Ellis said that the grass and brush are more flammable when they're dry.

"With all the rain we've had, the grass is going to get tall and then it will quit raining and it will die out on us. We should be ready for a big grass fire season," said Ellis.

During the Spring, it's common for farmers and homeowners to burn their own grass. Although the fire department doesn't recommend it, Ellis gave some advice for those who have to.

"If you have to burn it, make sure they have a good water supply. Make sure they're good and safe and don't leave it until it's a hundred percent out," said Ellis.

Officials say that high speed winds and temperatures above 75 degrees can and will start a brush fire so they advise west Texans to be aware of their surroundings and to keep an eye out for smoke or open flames in the area.

"We've got 24 miles of Interstate that we cover out here and that's a long way to go when you're driving a fire truck that doesn't run but 65, 75 miles an hour. So the quicker we get on it, the better," said Ellis.

If you witness a brush fire in your area, you are urged to call 911 immediately.