Steady rains this area received last weekend eased the threat of wildfires, but the burn ban order in Brown and several surrounding counties remains in effect. Meanwhile, several structure fires in the county are an unfortunate reminder that fires of all types remain a danger, especially at this time of year.

National Fire Prevention Week was observed more during the first of October, a time of the year when cold weather is arriving in many areas of the country. But for this part of Texas, the winter heating season was delayed this year thanks to an unsually warm autumn. The freezing or near-freezing temperatures of Thanksgiving week finally forced many area residents to turn on their heating units.

Itís unclear at this point whether any of the structure fires area departments battled this week were the result of heating equipment; at least one was traced to an electrical fire in the motor of a household appliance. But the results are the just as damaging.

This is the time of year when people turn to space heaters to stay warm, and when heating units that may not be in top shape are started up again. And with the Christmas holidays looming, many families are decorating with candles. All of these are potential causes of a major, devastating fire unless certain rules and procedures are followed. Some fires, sadly, cannot be prevented. But many can, and should be.

Brownwood Bulletin