Dry Conditions Could Spark Wildfires - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/20/05 - East Texas

Dry Conditions Could Spark Wildfires

by Chris Cato

The sky in East Texas was filled with smoke in the summer of 2000. Wildfires spread all across parts of East Texas.

Dry weather conditions created one of the worst outbreaks of wildfires to hit the area. Experts say it could happen again, and it could happen sooner than you think.

Mahlon Hammetter, a fire prevention specialist with the Texas Forest Service, said, "some of that same weather conditions are setting up this year that we had back there, and some areas are actually drier at this point in time than they were back at the corresponding time back in 2000. So it is a very great concern particularly with the amount of fuel we've got on the ground."

There is no burn ban in effect right now, but you should still be cautious if you are lighting fires.

Hammetter said, "it's getting to the point where people need to be extra careful there about doing it there. Staying with their fires is a major thing that they can do."

While a lot of grass in the area is still pretty green, it's just dry enough to cause a major problem. Some fire fighting students are taking courses through the Texas Forest Service. They're boning up on their wildfire skills to get ready for the summer season.

Hammetter said, "we wanna get everybody as prepared as possible with all the fire fighting courses we can work in."

Getting them prepared for a season that has the potential to be devastating. Experts say if you are going to be burning outdoors, only do it if it's not too windy. The wind could send your fire out of control.

Powered by Frankly