Texas A&M Forest Service

Texas A&M Forest Service Warns of Potential for Increase Wildfire Activity

The service also provided tips on how to avoid wildfires

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The Texas A&M Forest Service sees potential for increased wildfire activity statewide as Texas moves into the late summer fire season.

In a press release, the Forest Service said the weather pattern for the upcoming week will be hot and dry due to an upper-level ridge of high-pressure positioned over the state.

During this period of time, state and local resources responded to 205 wildfires that burned 45,376 acres.

"We are entering our late summer fire season when we normally expect an increase in wildfire activity," said Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services Department Head.

"The hot and dry conditions forecast for next week as well as the presence of underlying drought west of Interstate 35 raises concerns of significant wildfire activity. These wildfires will be very resistant to control and require more time and more firefighters to extinguish."

In the press release, it says over the past seven days, state and local resources have responded to 53 wildfires that have burned 12,090 acres. This includes many large, multi-day fires including the still-burning Mays Fire in San Saba and McCulloch Counties at 9,500 acres and 75% contained, and the Pocket Complex in Val Verde and Crockett Counties at 625 acres and 70% contained.

Many of the recent wildfires start have been attributed to human activities such as equipment use. So far in 2020, 355 equipment-caused wildfires have burned 40,251 acres. This includes eight wildfires that have burned 19,014 acres over the past week.

The service provided tips on the prevention and mitigation of wildfires. It says nine out of 10 wildfires in Texas are human-caused. It also said to remove rocks and metal from the work area.

"State and local firefighters are extremely busy with current wildfire suppression activities across the state," said Bruce Woods, Texas A&M Forest Service Mitigation and Prevention Department Head. "Citizens can help our first responders work in a safer environment by taking personal responsibility and preparing their property before a fire starts."

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