“Since mid-July, wildfire activity has increased substantially across Texas due to expanding drought conditions,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service fire chief. “Over the past two weeks, state and local firefighters have responded to 280 wildfires that burned almost 10,000 acres.”
This week, elevated fire weather, characterized by triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and increased wind speeds, will create an environment with high potential for wildfires that are difficult to control.
Regions affected by wildfire
The threat of wildfires will be present for broad regions of the state, including along the Interstate 35 corridor between Dallas, Waco, Austin and San Antonio, and extending west to Kerrville, Brady, Brownwood and Eastland.
Regions with increased risk also include areas east of Interstate 45 and south of Interstate 20, including communities near Jacksonville, Center, Lufkin, Crockett, Huntsville, Woodville, Cleveland, Kirbyville and Jasper.
The fire weather on Aug. 2 will approach critical thresholds and when aligned with critically to extremely dry vegetation will support wildfires that are resistant to suppression efforts and may impact populations across the identified areas.
“Texas A&M Forest Service is working closely with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, fire departments and local jurisdictions across the state to monitor conditions and assess needs locally to best position resources for a quick and effective response to any request for assistance,” said Moorehead. “It is vitally important that everyone be mindful of current conditions and remain diligent with any activity that creates sparks.”
As hot and dry conditions persist, consider the following:
- Always obey local burn bans and outdoor burning restrictions. Wait to conduct any outdoor burning or light campfires until the burn ban has been lifted and weather conditions improve.
- After recent global events, many people are asking what causes a wildfire to start. Nine out of 10 wildfires are human caused. When a burn ban is in place, residents should avoid outdoor activities that may cause a spark, including welding, grinding and using heavy machinery.
- Many areas of Texas are experiencing high temperatures and dry weather. Residents should stay up to date on weather conditions and always use extreme caution when performing outdoor activities even if not under a burn ban.
Stay wildfire aware. If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.
For more information about summer wildfire prevention, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/summerwildfires/.
For information on the current wildfire situation in Texas, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/CurrentSituation/.