The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has moved to Level III – Increased Readiness in response to the potential threat from continued drought conditions in Harris County.

Today, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) average in Harris County exceeded 675, triggering the change in activation level. The average KBDI today is 681.

Nearly all of Southeast Texas has been under hot, dry conditions for more than 30 days. The Harris County Commissioners’ Court implemented at Burn Ban at the request of Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen during their August 8, 2023, meeting. More information on the Burn Ban can be found at here.

HCOHSEM will begin active, remote monitoring of drought conditions in conjunction with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office (HCFMO). Typical monitoring times are from 1000-1800 daily, depending on existing threats.

Partners will not be requested to staff the Emergency Operations Center unless there is a significant increase in wildfire activity OR the National Weather Service issues a Red Flag Warning. Click here for more information on Red Flag Warnings. Partners will be notified if and when support is required.

The KBDI will likely fluctuate on a daily basis, but updates will be issued only in the event of an escalation or when the fire threat has passed.

Partners should communicate with HCOHSEM on this issue via the main number.