On Friday, Texas saw 17 new wildfires ignite across the state. Saturday, 10 were still considered active.
It’s a devastating trend the Texas A&M Forest Service says isn't expected to end any time soon.
“The conditions right now are so hot and dry that we just foresee experiencing this wildfire activity for the foreseeable future,” said spokeswoman Erin O’Conner.
O'Conner says since the start of the year, more than 6,900 wildfires have burned nearly 600,000 acres across the state, giving fire crews little time to rest even as triple-digit heat makes their jobs even more dangerous.
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“It’s strenuous. Our crews are held to certain physical fitness standards. And then with these conditions, it's something that they take into consideration when fire managers are making their decisions on the fires,” she said.
That includes relying on extra resources. Currently, close to 1,000 firefighters from 40 different states are on the ground in Texas to assist the Forest Service and career and volunteer departments.
In some communities, those unpaid local heroes are feeling the strain. This week, the Possum Kingdom West Volunteer Fire Department asked the community for donations, saying the fire that ripped through Palo Pinto county took a toll on resources, including two brush trucks it’s left needing to replace.
Still, with burn bans in place in all but 30 Texas counties, fire crews stand ready for the worst conditions seen since 2011 when an unprecedented 4 million acres were burned across the state.
TEXAS WILDFIRE INCIDENTS
“We’re seeing a lot of similarities as far as the conditions, how long our fires are burning, how long the vegetation across the landscape is holding that heat,” O’Conner said.
O’Conner said this weekend's scattered showers and storms will do little to help the fire season shape up to be the worst in more than a decade.