December 18, 2013 —COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Significant rain this year could be a potential threat during the winter wildfire season. Residents are urged to take precautions as the cold weather begins drying the increased vegetation.
Rains earlier this year helped suppress wildfire threats by improving moisture levels across majority of the state. However, this led to a rise in grassy areas, which can help spread fires if it becomes too dry.
Potential for fire is especially relevant in the western plains regions of the state. Including the grass dominated areas west of a Wichita Falls to Abilene to San Angelo line. Strong persistent winds over this area could increase the chance of wildfires spreading.
“The concern is on dry and windy days,” said Tom Spencer, predictive services department head at Texas A&M Forest Service. “A fire could start and spread quickly in these dry grasses, damaging anything in its path.” Care is highly recommended throughout the winter months and activities that could accidentally start a fire should be limited.
Several safety tips are advised for all Texans this holiday season:
For more information about daily fire weather forecasts and an updated fire danger map visit the Texas Interagency Coordination Center web page.