COLLEGE STATION (August 22, 2013)--Texas forestry officials are urging caution over the Labor Day weekend in hopes of avoiding wildfires like a disastrous blaze two years ago, which started as the result of strong winds.
Texas A&M Forest Service records show that 126 of the state's 254 counties had burn bans in effect Thursday.
The holiday weekend is the peak of summer fire activity when everything is at its driest due to the heat, officials said.
A Labor Day weekend fire in 2011 in Bastrop County, about 30 miles east of Austin, burned for more than a month and scorched at least 32,000 acres.
Two people died and Forest Service officials said nearly 1,700 homes were destroyed.
Investigators say the fire was started when wind gusts of more than 30 miles per hour knocked down trees that crashed into overhead power lines, producing sparks that ignited the blaze.