Aug. 21, 2013 – COLLEGE STATION, Texas – With Labor Day drawing near, many Texans
are planning to spend some time outside, soaking up the last of the summer sun.
But Texas A&M Forest Service is urging residents to celebrate carefully as the
summer wildfire activity is typically at its highest over the holiday weekend.
The primary areas of concern include the Hill Country, as well as
Central and East Texas, where timber and brush are rapidly drying out. But just
because you live outside the danger zones doesn’t mean you don’t have to be
Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services Department Head
Tom Spencer warned the public to use caution when doing anything outside that
could cause a spark.
“Labor Day weekend is the peak of summer fire activity, when
everything is at its driest due to the summer heat,” Spencer said. “People just
need to be aware. Don’t let a wildfire ruin the holiday weekend.”
It was during Labor Day weekend in 2011 that the most destructive
wildfire in state history was recorded. The Bastrop County Complex Fire — one
of just 516 wildfires that state and local firefighters responded to that
weekend — burned for 37 days, scorching more than 32,000 acres and destroying
Keep the following tips in mind to ensure you and your family have
a safe Labor Day weekend:
- Check with your county judge for
current burn bans.
- Be aware when grilling on wooden
decks or in dry grass.
- Keep water handy in case of fire.
- When transporting portable pits,
be sure the fire is extinguished.
- Completely extinguish all smoking
- Remember your vehicle’s exhaust
system can ignite a fire when driving through or stopped in dry vegetation.
- Report all fires immediately to
more information on preparing for wildfires, visit: Texasfirewise.com
Texas A&M Forest Service Contacts:
Tom Spencer, Predictive Services Department Head
Jan Amen, Fire Prevention Specialist
Texas A&M Forest Service Communications