By Chelsea Dorward, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Bosque County Office
The Texas A&M Forest Service, local fire officials and fire departments are advising the public to be aware of continuing dry conditions in Bell, McLennan, Coryell and Hill counties that can contribute to rapidly growing fire danger. Since these counties surround us here in Bosque, we also need to be aware.
As Texas moves into the hotter and drier summer months, the fire danger increases. Grasses and surface fuels will dry out even further, making them more receptive to ignition.
The first week of June, state and local fire resources have responded to 75 wildfires that have burned 15,222 acres. This includes multiple new starts in North and Central Texas regions. Many recent wildfires have been attributed to equipment use, welding, debris burning and roadside starts.
Texas A&M Forest Service encourages vigilance and preventative measures against human-caused wildfires.
“During these critical fire weather conditions, it is extremely important to remain mindful of all outdoor activities,” said Karen Stafford, Texas A&M Forest Service program coordinator. “Any activity that can create a spark, can start a wildfire.”
• Postpone outdoor burning until conditions improve, and always check for burn restrictions.
• 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.
• When pulling a trailer, attach safety chains securely; loose chains can drag on the pavement and cause sparks, igniting roadside fires.
• If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.
For more information on how to prevent wildfires and keep your community safe, please visit the Wildfire Education and Prevention Facebook, the Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Texas A&M Forest Service website.