Threat of wildfires continues into weekend as a result of dry weather, strong wind gusts

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 12:36 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX Weather) - There is a threat for wildfires in Central Texas this weekend, especially, west of a line from Jacksboro to Hillsboro to Hearne.

Dry air and strong winds persist across the state and Central Texas is under very high and extreme levels for the risk of fires.

The entire state has some sort of fire risk Friday - most of Central Texas in the extreme...
The entire state has some sort of fire risk Friday - most of Central Texas in the extreme category(KWTX)

Our part of Central Texas not officially under a Red Flag Warning but most of the state is under a Fire Weather Watch or that Red Flag Warning.

What’s the difference?

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will contribute to extreme fire behavior.

A Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur. Listen for later forecasts and possible Red Flag Warnings.

Outdoor burning is illegal for most of our area.

With this combination of weather conditions, wildfires will have the potential to grow and spread rapidly. Any activities that can spark a wildfire should be avoided. Planned burning is not recommend and is illegal in areas with a Burn Ban in place. Almost all of Central Texas is under a Burn Ban.

Most of Central Texas is under a Burn Ban currently
Most of Central Texas is under a Burn Ban currently(KWTX)

Could wildfires really spark?

Yes. The conditions of sunny, dry, and windy weather have already led to several wildfires in the state of Texas. In Central Texas, we have seen the Crittenberg Complex fire in Coryell county which burned 33,175 acres. That fire sparked and spread quickly and even caused an evacuation of the town Flat. The Bosque River fire, approximately 3 miles east of Iredell, burning 700 acres. Thursday, April 7th a lawnmower even caused a wildfire, named the Quail fire, to spark in China Spring that quickly burned 50 acres, followed by the VM fire that burned 18.3 acres northwest of Crawford.

One other factor working against us is the fact that we haven’t seen any beneficial rain in quite some time. That has led to exceptional drought conditions for areas west of I-35 and most of Central Texas has at least some sort of drought in place. All in all, that means the ground is very dry and acting as a fuel source for any fire that may spark.

Latest drought monitor released April 7th
Latest drought monitor released April 7th(KWTX)

What can I do to make sure fires are not ignited?

Avoid outdoor burning. Don’t plan any outside grilling or BBQs. Any activity that could spark an open flame, including welding, tossing cigarette butts, keeping tow chains from making contact with the ground, or using fire pits, needs to be left out of any plans at least for the rest of the week. On top of that, make sure to properly dispose of glass products. Glass can easily refract the sun rays and spark a fire too.

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