CEDAR HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – “Critical” is the word local fire officials are using when they talk about the fire danger across North Texas.
The events of Sunday morning were a prime example of the fire risk; that’s when a grass fire was sparked in Cedar Hill. As of Monday afternoon the blaze still wasn’t completely doused. Fire officials told CBS 11 News they’ve been called back to the scene twice, because the fire would smolder underneath pine needles and flare back up in the high wind.
As families headed to the Cedar Hill State Park many were surprised to learn that a burn ban remains in effect. That includes the charcoal and wood used for fires for Labor Day barbecues.
Park rangers stepped up patrols and anyone caught violating the burn ban could face up to a $500 fine.
Officials are hoping everyone obeys the rules since parks across the state are bone dry and are full of nothing but fuel sources.
Winds on Monday were gusting as high as 30 mph and that means the smallest spark could touch off a fast moving fire.
“If the winds blowing about 10 mph the flame heights get up to 10, 15 feet, and it’ll jump roads,” explained Cedar hill Fire Department Battalion Chief Glen Clark. “A little ember travels maybe 300 yards.”
Fire officials say if you’ve ever seen a plastic bag caught blowing in the wind that’s how fast fire embers can travel.