March 28, 2016 — AMARILLO, Texas — Critical fire weather conditions will be present over the Texas Plains region Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued an alert putting far western portions of the state in the “critical” and “elevated” categories for wildfire potential.

    The areas of concern are Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Fort Stockton and El Paso regions.

    “Considering the large fires we have recently seen in the area, caution is advised for any outdoor activity that could lead to accidental fire starts,” said Tom Spencer, predictive services department head.

    Increased fire activity is a concern due to sustained wind speeds of 25 to 35 mph combining with above normal seasonal temperatures, low relative humidity and a dry line — a boundary that separates moist air mass from dry air — forming over the region.

    Texas A&M Forest is responding to potential fire danger by prepositioning state resources, working with local response departments and monitoring the situation closely.

    Vigilance and preventative measures are encouraged against wildfires cause by people. 

    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:

    Mylea Lovell; Wildland Urban Interface Specialist; 806-500-1199; mlovell@tfs.tamu.edu

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