• Hunting Season and Wildfire Prevention


    Hunting season brings a sense of pride for one's heritage and family traditions.  It's an opportunity for families to spend time together, while teaching younger generations about conservation and caring for the land and natural resources.

    Unfortunately, sometimes these outdoor activities can spark a wildfire.  About 90% of wildfires in Texas are human caused, which means 90% of our wildfires could be prevented with some simple actions.

    From 2016-2020, Texas A&M Forest Service responded to 3,742 wildfires burning nearly 1.5 million acres.  In Texas, 37% of the total annual wildfires occurred during the major hunting season months of September through January.  More than half of these fires were caused by unsafe debris burning and equipment use - which includes fires caused by vehicles, trailers, ATV/UTVs and other equipment frequently used while hunting and camping.



    Top Preventable Human Caused Wildfires During Hunting Season

     + Campfire Safety
    • Learn before you burn.  Check for any burn bans, local ordinances or campground restrictions before building your campfire.
    • Always obey local burn bans and outdoor burning restrictions.  Wait to conduct any outdoor burning or light campfires until the burn ban has been lifted and weather conditions are not extremely hot, dry, or windy.
    • Keep your embers contained by using a fire ring or fire pit.
    • Check for overhanging branches, power lines or other hazards that could catch fire.
    • Keep your campfire to a manageable size.  A large fire requires more work and water to ensure it's dead out.
    • When putting out your campfire: drown the ashes with water, stir with a shovel and feel that the ashes are cool with the back of your hand.  Repeat these steps until your ashes are cold.
    • Use local firewood.  When you transport firewood, you might unintentionally spread harmful insects or diseases to new locations.
    • Keep a water source, such as a hose or bucket, nearby.
    • Be mindful of kids and pets around campfires.
    • Never leave your cooking or campfire unattended!


    TPWD Campfire Safety

     + Debris Burning
    • Check local burning restrictions and burn bans before lighting any outdoor burn piles.
    • Keep debris piles small and manageable.
    • Clear vegetation and flammable material at least 10 feet away from your pile.
    • Avoid burning under over obstructions like trees, power lines and structures.


    9 Out of 10 Wildfires Are Human Caused

     + Parking in Dry Grass
    • Maintain off-road vehicles and avoid parking or idling over dry vegetation.
    • Keep vehicles well maintained, including the vehicle's exhaust system - failing catalytic converters may emit extremely hot metal fragments and ignite a roadside wildfire.
    • Avoid driving and/or parking in tall, dry grass.  The catalytic converter is located underneath your vehicle and may start wildfires if exposed to dry vegetation.  Catalytic converters operate between 550-1600º F and can reach 2000º F if the engine is not running properly.


     Avoid Parking or Idling Over Dry Grass

     + RV's
    • Make a pre-trip checklist and inspect your RV before each trip.  Include items such as: wheel bearings, tire pressure, lug nuts, safety chains, stabilizing jacks, brakes, and emergency break-away switches/cables.
    • Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, bedroom, and an outside compartment or in your tow vehicle.
    • Check your RV's brakes.  A dragging brake can ignite a tire, brake fluid, or wheel bearing lubricant.
    • Ensure your power cord is in good condition and suitable for the electrical load of your RV.  
    • Check your tires and wheels for wear and heat each time you stop for fuel or rest.
    • Be careful where you pull over and park.  Avoid stopping or parking in dry grass and stay on the pavement whenever possible.


    Secure Safety Chains When Towing Trailers  

     + Trailer Towing
    • Always connect your trailer safety chains, even for short trips.  Loose chains can create sparks, igniting roadside grasses.
    • Underinflated tires and/or tire failure pose a wildfire hazard.  Wheel rims may produce sparks if contact is made with the pavement.  Keep a pressure gauge in your vehicle and ensure all tires are properly inflated.  Inspect tires regularly, especially during long trips, for signs of damage.
    • Stay up-to-date with your trailer maintenance.  Ensure your wheel bearings, lights, wiring, and brakes are in good shape and functioning properly before each trip.
    • Keep an eye on your trailer while you're driving.  Stop immediately if you notice any smoke, sparks, or flat tires.
    • Never park in dry grass.  Overheated wheel bearings and vehicle exhausts can quickly ignite roadside grasses.
    • Do a 360º inspection around your trailer and tow vehicle before each trip.  Check for any loose tie-downs or items that could shift and come in contact with the road.


     Carry a Fire Extinguisher In All Vehicles