A large wildfire ignited in George Bush Park in west Houston Tuesday afternoon threatened the evacuation of adjacent neighborhoods when ash fell from it. However, the latest update from officials indicate that no neighborhoods were in danger and no injuries were reported, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The fire, which is now 99 percent under control, caused police officers and emergency personnel to notify residents of several subdivisions on the northwest edge of the park to prepare to evacuate.
No one had to evacuate, and no one is going to have to evacuate, Deputy Chief Fernando Herrera said.
The fire, at one point almost a mile wide, started just after 3 p.m.; it was largely brought under control by 9 p.m., though there was concern that winds could help reignite hot spots.
We are confident we will contain the fire within the park, Assistant Fire Chief Danny Snell said.
Smoke Noticeable Along Katy Freeway
Smoke was noticeable along the Katy Freeway from Texas 6 to Katy, the Chronicle said. One car dealership close to the scene was instructed by authorities to close early. Several roads were closed by authorities on the south side of I-10. A section of southbound Texas 6 was closed from Memorial Drive to Briar Forest.
We were very fortunate. The wind was coming from the south at about 7 miles per hour. If the wind was going from a different direction, for example out of the east or southeast, we had a neighborhood that we would've been really concerned about, Herrera said. There were neighborhoods we were worried about, but as long as it burned north, we knew it would be OK.
The Houston Fire Department had on the scene more than 50 pieces of equipment, 175 firefighters and four bulldozers. And a planned aerial water drop was canceled because of darkness. Despite largely containing the fire, Herrera said, the fire department would most likely have crews out all night, ensuring that the fire did not spread and extinguishing hot spots.
There is a traffic alert in the area because of the fire. Westbound Westheimer Parkway is closed between Westheimer and South Barker Cypress Road. As an alternate, use FM 1093 or the Westpark Tollway.
The cause of the fire is unknown.