East Texas fire dangers are on the rise as hot, dry conditions worsen

East Texas fire dangers are on the rise as hot, dry conditions worsen
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 11:25 PM CDT
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EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - With this week’s extended period of 100-degree weather and the lack of rain, wildfire risks are rising in East Texas.

Fuller Springs VFD Assistant Chief, Bobby Crandford said, “When everything is so dry – we haven’t had rain and if we get a little bit, it soaks right into the ground -- and so everything is so flammable at this point.”

The Texas A&M Forest Service said it’s an ongoing concern expected to last for at least a week.

Their team mentioned Wednesday will reach a high fire potential forecasted condition expected to produce critically to extremely dry fuel, areas along and West of I-35 into East Texas at the highest risk.

While Thursday will reach in the Eastern Hill Country, Southeast Texas and the Western Pineywoods.

Sean Dugan, PIO for the Texas A&M Forest Service said, “The first responders are the volunteer fire departments, they’ll be the first ones on scene and if they can get it put out then they will, but as the fire grows and it goes beyond the scope of what they can handle then they’ll can us and start pulling multiple resources.”

Officials said wildfires will likely be difficult to control in densely pine-wooded areas in East Texas.

“Small easily dried out fuel versus heavy it takes a long time to dry those fuels out, and depending now that it’s been so hot and so dry those larger fuels that are harder to dry out, those are starting to dry out,” said Dugan.

Dugan also encouraged East Texans, “Please be careful with anything that can cause a spark, you know, that’s grills, welding machines, your vehicle if you park on tall dry grass.”

Cranford said there are no more warnings; if you are burning citations will be given.

“We need all the help we can. Helping by not starting fires and not burning, that’s the biggest help that you can give us,” said Cranford.