Texas Forest Service urges caution
COLLEGE STATION, Texas— The Texas Forest Service (TFS) is urging citizens from Austin to San Antonio, south to Cotulla, across the Hill County and over to the Rio Grande to be aware of heightened wildfire danger due to a cold front that will drop humidity levels and produce high winds. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the area February 2, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The forecast predicted strong northerly winds of 15 to 20 mph and relative humidity levels in the 20s to the teens.
“A red flag warning represents critical fire weather with continuous winds of 20 mph or greater and relative humidity at 20 percent or less,” said Tom Spencer, TFS predictive services department head. “This weather, added to critically dry fuels, such as grasses and trees, can lead to very high to extreme fire danger.”
These predicted conditions could lead to wildfires that will be difficult to contain and can quickly endanger public safety.
This area has the potential to see very dangerous wildfires due to the prolonged drought. The area has seen little to no precipitation for months. Additionally, the freezing temperatures of last week caused the drought-cured grasses to become even drier.
TFS Predictive Services Department forecasts that through the month of February fuels, such as grasses and trees, are expected to remain critically dry.
On Friday, TFS responded to 13 wildfires for 7,093 acres.
For more information on fire advisories and area conditions, go to http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu and click on Fire Danger/Advisories.