COLLEGE STATION, TX – Strong winds and low humidity are forecast in Texas this weekend, combined with critically dry vegetation, prompting Texas Forest Service officials to prepare for potentially dangerous wildfires.
Critical fire weather is forecast Saturday for the eastern half of the state, including the I-35 corridor and the Texas Panhandle. Critical conditions will dominate most of the state on Sunday.
Since fire season began in November 2010, Texas Forest Service and area fire departments have responded to more than 20,631 wildfires that have burned more than 3.5 million acres. Crews currently are battling 12 large fires across the state, including a 6,600-acre blaze near Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County.
"The fire danger we are experiencing poses a severe threat to lives and property in the state of Texas," said Mark Stanford, fire chief and associate director of Texas Forest Service. "Increased outdoor activities are expected due to the holiday weekend. These factors increase the probability for the development of large and destructive wildfires."
Texans are urged to obey burn bans and use caution outdoors this weekend, especially when doing anything that can cause a spark. For information about how to protect your home from wildfire, visit the Texas Forest Service website.
You can track local weather conditions at the Storm Tracker Weather Center at KTRE.com.