January 29, 2013 at 8:18 AM
GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas-Residents of La Marque and Hitchcock as well as motorists along state Highway 6 and Interstate 45 will likely notice large plumes of smoke coming from the University of Houston's Coastal Center on Wednesday. The fire will be deliberately set and is part of a training exercise.
The Fire Weather Research Laboratory of the San Jose State University's Department of Meteorology and Climate Science in California and the Texas Forest Service will ignite a prescribed burn to help measure the atmospheric affects that happen during a wildland fire on a tallgrass prairie.
The data collected from the Fire Flux II experiment will be used to better understand the knowledge of the behavior of wildland fires, according to a news release from San Jose State University.
Galveston County Emergency Management Coordinator David Popoff said he was concerned drivers would be distracted when they see flames and smoke coming up from the coastal center, which is located along FM 2004 between state Highway 6 and I-45 in La Marque near Jack Brooks Park.
The fire should be ignited between noon and 2 p.m. as more than 155 acres of grass are burned during the experiment.