Jan. 29, 2016 — LUBBOCK, Texas — Increased fire potential is expected in Northwestern Texas today through Monday due to above normal temperatures, moderate wind speeds and low relative humidity.

    “Strong winds on Monday will be a concern as they follow on the heels of three days of strong drying. Initial attack activity is likely to go from moderate on Friday to very likely Monday,” Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service fire analyst said.

    Increased wind speeds can lead to potential wildfire occurrences in areas with abundant cured or dried grasses. Affected areas include Abilene, San Angelo, Midland and Lubbock.

    Initial activity is probable through Sunday for the Panhandle, Rolling Plains, northern Hill Country and northern Southern Plains. The Panhandle is expected to see snow Monday, decreasing the wildfire potential for that area.

    “The conditions in the area will increase the likelihood of fires growing rapidly, creating control issues for local fire departments.  It is important that everyone understand and follow all red flag warnings in their areas,” said Assistant Chief Regional Fire Coordinator Jim Cooper. 

    Texas A&M Forest Service encourages vigilance and preventative measures against human-caused wildfires. 

    • Postpone outdoor burning until conditions improve.
    • With high fire danger, caution should be used when involved with an outdoor activity that has the ability to cause spark. It only takes one spark to start a wildfire. 
    • Dispose of smoking materials properly. Extinguish them in an ash tray. Don’t throw them out of a window.
    • Avoid parking and idling in tall, dry grass. Catalytic converters can get hot enough to ignite the grass under a vehicle.
    • Avoid sitting hot chainsaws or other hot, gas-powered equipment in dry grass.
    • Wildfires burning in grass can spread and grow extremely fast. It is important that if you spot a wildfire you report it immediately to local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.

    For more information, visit National Weather Service website.


    Texas A&M Forest Service Contacts:

    Phillip Truitt; Wildland Urban Interface Specialist; 325-236-3236; ptruitt@tfs.tamu.edu

    TFS Communications Office; 979-458-6606; newsmedia@tfs.tamu.edu