State foresters are hoping that recent rains will limit the 2012 wildfire risk in East Texas, where drought factored in several disastrous fires last year.
Mark Stanford is associate director of forest resource protection for the Texas Forest Service. He tells The Lufkin Daily News that the region is "actually in pretty good shape," unlike South and West Texas.
The National Weather Service in Shreveport, La., had forecast severe drought to continue in East Texas through early summer. However, more than 17 inches of rain has fallen in the Lufkin area in the first quarter of 2012, the most seen in a decade.
Much of the damage from the 2011 fires remains. Stanford says another $137 million will be needed to reforest the region, leaving many forest-related businesses idle.