TEXAS — Current situation:
• Texas Forest Service responded to one new large fire yesterday in Taylor County.
• Texas Forest Service currently is responding to 16 major fires that have burned 163,649 acres.
• The Boyken Road (Howard County, 2,000 acres), Wilson Ranch (Tom Green County, 4,300 acres) and the Longfellow (Pecos County, 3,500 acres) fires have all been contained.
• 228 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
• Detailed fire information can be found at inciweb.org.
• Questions about evacuations, burn bans and firework bans should be directed to the county judge, sheriff’s office or emergency management coordinator.
New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
TRENT MESA, Taylor County. 500 acres, 50 percent contained. This fire is burning 8 miles southwest of Merkel. Numerous wind turbines are threatened.
Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
WHITE HAT, Coke and Nolan Counties. 70,559 acres, 65 percent contained. There are voluntary evacuations around the community of Maryneal. Eight homes, eight outbuildings and three vehicles were destroyed. A power substation received heavy damage. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers dropped on this fire. This fire is burning 4 miles south of Maryneal.
BEARING, Polk and Trinity Counties. 20,222 acres, 80 percent contained. The fire is burning near Carmona. Two homes and six cabins were destroyed and dozens have been evacuated.
DYER MILL, Grimes County. 5,280 acres, 75 percent contained. Thirty homes are confirmed destroyed, along with three businesses. More than 1,000 homes and businesses were evacuated.
MIDWAY (COWBOY CHURCH), Walker County. 2,412 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning near Huntsville. One hundred sixty-three homes were evacuated near Midway. The fire was burning on both sides of Interstate 45 with crowning in the timber. Eight Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System engines responded from the Houston area to assist in addition to TFS resources.
POWER LINE, Jasper County. 3,500 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning just south of Lake Sam Rayburn Dam. Five hundred homes were threatened.
SMAC, Brooks County. 30,000 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 13 miles southwest of Falfurrias.
HUDSON COMPLEX, Sterling County. 2,860 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning 34 miles northwest of San Angelo.
FAULKNER, Crockett County. 2,201 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning southwest of Big Lake.
COBBLE RD. #1, Howard County. 1,200 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 2 miles west of Big Spring.
MITCHELL RANCH 2, Crockett County. 3,000 acres, 50 percent contained. This fire is burning 31 miles southwest of Ozona.
McDONALD II, Clay County. 5,915 acres, 50 percent contained. The fire was threatening the town of Henrietta. Evacuations of numerous homes and businesses took place.
ROCK CREEK, Stonewall County. 8,000 acres, 80 percent contained. The fire is burning seven miles northeast of Aspermont in tall grass.
JRM, Throckmorton County. 7,000 acres, 95 percent contained. This fire is a complex of four lightning fires near Throckmorton. Twelve homes are threatened.
NANCE RANCH, Randall County. 607 acres, 90 percent contained. Two single-engine airtankers and a TFS task force worked the fire burning in grass six miles east of Canyon. Twelve homes were saved.
FINIS, Young County. 393 acres, 90 percent contained.
Dry line will remain across far West Texas through Thursday evening as surface ridge builds to the east. This will contribute to an increased pressure gradient across the Panhandle southward to the Lower Trans Pecos with generally south winds increasing to 10 to 15 mph and gusty. Otherwise, high temperatures to increase to near 100 degrees west Texas as upper level high pressure strengthens from the west, producing elevated fire conditions across the west and northwest branches. Highs will be in the 90s over east Texas.
Fireworks safety tips:
Texas Forest Service does not make decisions regarding fireworks restrictions or outdoor burn bans. The state agency does, however, provide drought information to county government officials. Under state law, each county is tasked with making its own decisions regarding fireworks restrictions and burn bans.
• Follow all county and city laws regarding fireworks use.
• Only use fireworks outdoors and away from dry grass and buildings.
• Read the labels and use only as directed, with adult supervision.
• Keep water, wet towels, and a garden hose nearby.
• Allow fireworks to cool completely before handling, and discard used fireworks into a bucket of water.
• Firewise (firewise.org) is a resource for residents to protect their home and property from wildfire.
• Adjust the safety chains on your trailers to ensure they don’t drag and create sparks that can cause roadside starts.
• Never leave a campfire unattended. Always have tools available to put out a fire.
• Remove flammable materials from around your home.
• Develop an evacuation plan for your family. Resources are available on the Firewise website and at texasfirestorm.org.
• Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas.
• Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.
• To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at (888) 501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle (including the license number) before calling the hotline.
• Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires. Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.
Since fire season started on Nov. 15, 2010, Texas Forest Service and area fire departments have responded to 12,362 fires that have burned 3,080,013 acres. These figures are updated every Monday and Friday.
From Texas Forest Service