Feb. 1, 2016 — LUBBOCK, Texas — A drying trend in the South Plains may present the most active fire weather in Texas so far this year.

    “The most important thing to take note of is that this is the fourth consecutive day of high temperatures, which dries out fuels in these areas creating significant fire potential,” said Tom Spencer, Predictive Services department head.

    The areas of most concern for today are Abilene, San Angelo, Midland and Lubbock. This includes Callahan County, which experienced a large 642-acre wildfire that started on Jan.30.

    The increased fire potential is due to above normal temperatures — nearing 80 degrees, strong winds between 30 – 35 mph and low relative humidity in the teens. Spencer said these three characteristics in addition to several days of drying culminate to a high level of concern.

    Weather conditions are expected to moderate by Tuesday.

    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 with any outdoor activity that may cause a 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 setting 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 the Texas Interagency Coordination Center 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