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HIGH WINDS COULD INCREASE CHANCES OF WILDFIRE ACTIVITY THIS WEEKEND

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Sept. 7, 2012 – COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A cold front is expected to push through South Central Texas Saturday morning, creating high winds, little to no rain and an increased chance for wildfire activity, according to the National Weather Service’s Austin office.

A fire weather watch has been issued through Saturday evening for several South Central Texas counties. According to the watch, wind gusts could increase to 35 mph, which will increase fire danger.

Critically dry fuels exist in parts of North Texas, Northeast Texas, the Western Pineywoods and the Hill Country – and Texas A&M Forest Service officials are cautioning residents to be careful this weekend when doing anything outdoors that could create a spark.

“There will be widespread risk on Saturday for increased wildfire activity,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Behavior Analyst Brad Smith.

Due to the high winds Saturday, wildfire could spread rapidly, making ignitions in dry areas difficult to contain, Smith explained. Conditions are expected to improve later in the weekend, Smith added.

“Lower wind speeds will significantly reduce the potential for fire activity on Sunday,” he said.

You can monitor current wildfire activity through the Texas A&M Forest Service website  

Contacts:
Jan Amen, Fire Prevention Specialist
936-546-1004,
jamen@tfs.tamu.edu

April Saginor, Communications Specialist 
979-458-6619, asaginor@tfs.tamu.edu