EL PASO, Texas – Monday’s brush fire in the Upper Valley is another reminder to stay alert during this season.
The brush fire caused no injuries or damage to homes, but firefighters say these types of fires can quickly become dangerous.
According to firefighters, the dry and windy conditions create the perfect environment for the flames to ignite.
El Paso Fire Department Battalion Chief Ruben Candelaria says most of these bushfires ignite due to improper disposal of cigarette butts.
He says cigarette butts can cause massive fires.
Candelaria says winds and even the smallest flammable objects can cause bushfires.
“If you grilled the night before and used charcoal, make sure you have it turned off and it’s off as it may still continue to burn. I’ve seen where coals have been left sideways and where the wind continued to fan the flame and cause a fire later,” Candelaria said.
Candelaria warned that when there are strong winds, you should not burn objects outside.
He said if you want to burn something, that’s a good rule to follow. “Go out, look at the trees. If you can see the branches or trees swaying, you probably don’t want to burn outside.
Candelaria said the winds are exacerbating the fires and making it harder for firefighters to put out the flames.
He said the hardest fires to fight are those where winds are involved.
Winds can also create the potential for spread to other locations, such as neighboring homes.
He said that on a normal day when no wind is present, the flames shoot straight out. However, when winds are present, the flames spread in different directions, creating dangerous conditions.