Notice the haze in the sky? It's coming from the fire near Houston

Published: Mar. 19, 2019 at 5:20 PM CDT
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KBTX Chief Meteorologist Shel Winkley joined First News at Four to discuss the fire that is raging near Houston and how it's affecting the Brazos Valley's air quality.

Below is the latest from the Associated Press:

HOUSTON, Tex. (AP) - Authorities say a plume of pitch-black smoke from a fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals terminal is traveling thousands of feet into the atmosphere and lessening concerns about air quality in the region.

Harris County's top administrator, Judge Lina Hidalgo, said at a news conference Tuesday that the plume is moving at least 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) into the air and staying high enough so that the air quality is not cause for alarm.

Officials say the fire that began Sunday at the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, southeast of Houston, remains intense enough to create its own micro weather system, causing shifting winds in the area.

Harris County Health Authority Dr. Umair Shah says "there continues to be low risk to our community," but explains that vulnerable groups such as the elderly should be cautious.

There have been no reports of injuries from the fire.