Fires sparked during the holidays in Cameron County
Thu, 27 Dec 2012 00:42:48 GMT —
It was a close call for a mobile home park in La Feria on Christmas Day, as a grass fire at an empty lot near Rabb Road spread their way.
Also, in Brownsville a meat market also went up in flames, believed to be an accidental electrical fire.
An Harlingen, a woman was arrested for arson after police said she intentionally aimed a firework at a home on South K Street.
Back in La Feria, a resident on Kansas City Road, called fire investigators after finding fire damage at his home and a strong odor of lighter fluid.
Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator Humberto Barrera said it TMs been a busy holiday season for firefighters.
He said the Rio Hondo and La Feria fires are believed to be arson.
The lack of rain, low humidity and high winds, he adds, have created ideal conditions for dangerous grass fires, but that TMs not enough to call for a burn ban or fireworks ban in the county.
"The Keetch Byrum index, which tells us the severity of drought we're in, is what we go by, Barrera said. There TMs actually a science behind it, run by the U.S. Forestry system."
Barrera encourages people to report illegal burning and suspicious activity, especially at abandoned homes and buildings, to help prevent their own homes from fires.
"If someone is trying to keep warm in a house that doesn't belong to them and they create a fire, whether it's in the brush or whether it's in that house, Barrera said, and it causes damage even though it wasn TMt intentionally set, they can still be held criminally responsible."