Yes, That's Wildfire Smoke You're Seeing and Smelling (UPDATE: HISD Cancels/Re-Schedules Some Games)

Categories: Weather

wildfire090811.jpg
Photo by GalgenTX
This is the Bastrop fire, but smoke is smoke.
The weather here is pretty perfect right now, in terms of heat and humidity. But in terms of dryness, it's still a bitch.

You probably noticed a smoky smell this morning and even some haze. And yes, the source is probably what you expect.

"Houstonians on their way to work discovered there was a thick blanket of smoke and haze covering the Houston area," the Houston Fire Department says. "This smoke is from the continuing wildfire in Magnolia, Texas, that is being fueled by the extremely dry vegetation."

The wind is coming from the north today, so the smoke from the blaze is being pushed into town.

HFD reports getting a lot of calls from residents this morning, but the smoke is not traced to any building fires.

About 12,500 acres have been burned in the current wildfire. There still is no relief in sight in terms of rain, but firefighters have been working to contain and control the fires as much as possible.

Update: The Houston school district is monitoring the smoke and has canceled or rescheduled some sporting events:

Advisories from the Harris County Health Department and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality provide the district best available data on conditions. The smoke has not affected all areas of the district evenly. So, principals are being asked to monitor conditions at their school to determine whether it is appropriate to allow outdoor activities or to keep students indoors.

Crews have been dispatched throughout the most heavily affected areas of the district to perform air quality tests. At Halpin Early Childhood Center (10901 Sandpiper) air-conditioning units were temporarily shut down because of the density of smoke in the area. District personnel have the capacity to regulate A/C systems to ensure the safety and comfort of students and staff.

Smoke affected two other schools this morning. Those schools were Mistral Early Childhood Center (6202 Jessamine) and Sutton Elementary School (7402 Albacore). However, those schools were affected by the smoke from a nearby house fire. The same protocols were performed at those two schools as at Halpin ECC.

The district's athletic department is monitoring air quality to determine if there will be any impact on outdoor events planned for this evening. Two schools have been affected.
The Lamar High School sub-varsity games that were scheduled to take place in Brenham will be rescheduled. The time and place will be announced at a later date.
The Jones High School versus Montgomery High School game scheduled for this evening has been cancelled.

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