With high temperatures, low humidity and little chance of rain in the forecast, the risk of dangerous wildfires is increasing in Central Texas.
The number of wildfires has increased recently thanks to a combination of human carelessness and several days of fair, dry weather that has cured grass and leaves, according to Texas Forest Service wildfire officials and fire chiefs in Williamson County.
"Fine-textured fuels like dead grasses, weeds and leaves are now dry enough to burn," said Sandra Taylor, fire prevention specialist with the Texas Forest Service. "We’ve seen evidence of this in the increase in wildfire activity across portions of Williamson and Burnet Counties."
Williamson County fire chiefs suggested Central Texas residents may have been lulled into a false sense of security because of the recent rains. While wildfire danger hasn’t reached critical levels, the risk still is there, they said.
Taylor urged residents to take precautions with outdoor fires, noting that most of the wildfires in the region were ignited as a result of people who acted carelessly while burning debris, bailing hay, welding and smoking.
With mostly high temperatures in the forecast for the next several days, Taylor said the fire danger isn’t likely to decrease any time soon. With so many people living near undeveloped areas of grass, brush and juniper, any fire – no matter the size – could quickly become deadly.
For more information, visit the Texas Forest Service web site at http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu or the Texas Interagency Coordinator Center web site at http://tamu.edu/ticc.