State Wildfire Preparedness Level raised to Level 4 as high fire danger is forecast this week

 

Last updated 8/8/2023 at 5:19pm

Texas A&M Forest Service has raised the State Wildfire Preparedness Level to Level 4 due to the recent increase in wildfire activity across the state and the growing potential for wildfires to become more severe, making them harder to control.

“The decision to move to a Preparedness Level 4 indicates that the complexity of wildfires across Texas is increasing to where they require more time, personnel and equipment to contain and put out,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief.

This week, very high to extreme fire danger is forecast for broad regions of the state, including areas along the I-35 corridor between Dallas, Waco, Austin and San Antonio, and extending west to Abilene and Wichita Falls.

Regions with increased risk also include areas east of I-45 and south of I-20, near Jacksonville, Center, Lufkin, Crockett, Huntsville, Woodville, Cleveland, Kirbyville and Jasper.

Critical fire weather, characterized by increased wind speeds and triple-digit temperatures, will align with very dry vegetation to produce an environment with high potential for wildfires that are resistant to firefighters’ suppression efforts and may impact citizens within the identified areas of concern.

Over the past week, state and local firefighters have responded to 119 wildfires that burned 9,012 acres.

“I continue to be impressed by the dedication and selfless service of firefighters across the state,” said Moorehead. “Every single day, they work in some of the hottest and most challenging conditions. These responders do a tremendous job protecting lives and property from destructive wildfires.”

It is crucial that everyone in Texas take care to prevent wildfires and be cautious of any outdoor activity that may cause a spark. If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.

For more information about summer wildfire prevention, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/summerwildfires/.

 

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