Abilene firefighters believe grass fire started from cigarette

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - The sirens continued on Thursday from a fire that occurred in a person's lawn, which rapidly spread into a neighboring lawn.

A few factors that contribute to the reoccurring calls of recent fires are a lack of rainfall, low dew points, and gusty winds that usually occur throughout The Lone Star State. The black patches of ash seen along streets, are a result of fires that are likely caused from the improper disposal of a cigarette.

An Abilene resident who's yard was engulfed in flames spoke with us about what happened. ""I was about to get into the shower, I looked outside and didn't think nothing about it. Then I looked back and said holy s*** the lawns on fire". said Jerry Caverly. An off-duty Fire Investigator for Abilene Fire Department arrived within minutes, by that time the fire had spread into a neighbors lawn. Fire Investigator Scott Slack says, "Particularly this time of year when there's very low humidity, a breeze, a small ember even from just flicking your cigarette out the window or even just trying to knock the cherry of the cigarette could easily start a fire, and within a matter of minutes it spread across two yards."

The newly released drought monitor has much of the Big Country under a moderate to severe drought. Mr. Caverly say's, "I have lived here for 37 years and never had a problem like this." It stresses the importance of how quickly fires can spread throughout the Big Country, hence the established burn ban in Taylor County. "Just be cognizant this time of year for you smokers out there to make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished, change out your ash trays and just keep it in the back of your head that it's very easy to start a fire this time of year", says Mr. Slack. 

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