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Increased fire potential in West Texas over the weekend

The Texas A&M Forest Service is warning people about the increased fire potential in West Texas this weekend.
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:37 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The Texas A&M Forest Service is warning people about the increased fire potential in West Texas this weekend.

If you lived in West Texas for any amount of time, you’ve probably experienced a windy day.

But when the conditions are right…that wind increases the chances of fire danger.

It’s unusual for West Texas to be under a red flag warning during the winter months.

But the extended drought plus a cold front with high winds create the perfect conditions for increased fire potential.

“We didn’t really have much of a summer fire season. We didn’t really have any fires pop up in the fall. Now we are starting to see those fires pop up because those fuels that typically burn during those times of the year, especially for our region out in West Texas, they have the potential to burn now,” said Robyn Atwood, regional wildland urban interface coordinator.

According to the forest service, 9 out of 10 wildfires are caused by people.

Any spark on dry grass could be enough to start a larger wildfire.

“When you’re doing any kind of fire-related activity, that one your county is not in a burn ban and two what kind of weather conditions do we have. Are the winds gonna be really high? If they are we should not participate in those kinds of activities,” said Atwood.

Atwood says if the drought conditions continue, there could be more fire danger this winter.

“If we do get some rain that comes with one of these fronts, that would help a lot. It will get some of that moisture back in, but we also know being out in West Texas with these high winds that we always have. It is very easy for those fuels to dry out quickly even if they just got rain say it was yesterday,” said Atwood.

Governor Greg Abbott told the Texas Division of Emergency Management to have resources ready in response to this weekend’s potential for wildfires.

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