Dec. 18, 2012 — COLLEGE
STATION, Texas — Conditions could line up for an active winter wildfire season in
some parts of the state, and Texas A&M Forest Service officials are urging
residents to take precautions.
has identified an “area of concern” where large wildfires could occur this
winter if conditions are right. The area includes everything north of a line
from Fort Stockton along I-10 to San Antonio, north to Austin, northeast to
Tyler and east along I-20 to the state line. That region didn’t get enough
rainfall this year to eliminate drought but did get enough to increase grass
humidity, dry conditions and high winds can cause fire to spread rapidly, said
Justice Jones, Wildland Urban Interface coordinator for Texas A&M Forest
Service. Although there are particular areas of concern, fires can occur
anywhere in the state, and residents should remain cautious.
“Any time the state
experiences dry periods with strong, gusty winds, the threat of wildfire will
increase and extra caution is encouraged to avoid devastating wildfires,” Jones
Several precautions are suggested for the
for and obey burn bans and fireworks restrictions.
and where outdoor burning is allowed, keep the fire small, never leave it
unattended and remove flammable leaves and other materials from the area
surrounding the fire. Avoid lighting piles on windy days.
water nearby in case a fire starts. A spark or burning ember can ignite
dry, fine-textured fuels like grass and weeds.
and follow label instructions on how to properly discharge fireworks.
fireworks with close adult supervision and only in areas clear of dry
using fireworks, particularly aerial varieties, around buildings. Wind can
carry hot fireworks onto roofs where leaves or other flammable debris may
your natural Christmas tree soon after the holidays and consider community
tree recycling projects. Christmas trees can be ground up for mulch or
provide shelter for birds and other wildlife.
of wrapping paper, boxes and other holiday waste by recycling, when
practical. Burn paper and cardboard in a burn barrel or other fire-proof
receptacle topped by a metal screen or grill, as winds can carry embers
over long distances.
Jan Amen, Fire Prevention Specialist
(936) 546-1004, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Texas A&M Forest Service offices
are closed Dec. 24-Jan.1. Reporters seeking assistance should email email@example.com, and the on-call communications specialist will respond.