Mineral Wells Area News

Fire Risk in the Area Elevated Over the Weekend

Fire Risk in the Area Elevated Over the Weekend
March 03
22:59 2022

Local Forest Service Coordinator Says Fire Risk Increases this Weekend in the County

This weekend conditions will be right for elevated wildfire danger here in North Texas. There is a cold front moving quickly towards the region and it is currently forecast to bring high winds and low humidity over areas of dried fuels. The moisture we received last week has largely dried out after several days of hot and dry conditions, leaving large areas of dry fuels that are available for fires to occur in. The highest areas of concern at this time are West of Highway 281 but everything west of I-35 will be subject to higher threat of wildfires. The forecast is still developing but what is certain is that there will be wildfires this weekend and they may cause issues for local fire departments. Texas A&M Forest Service (TAMFS) is closely monitoring the situation and potential forecasts to ensure that we and our local cooperators are prepared for what may occur here in North Texas or across the entire state.

“Any wildfire that ignites in dormant, cured grasses may spread rapidly due to the expected high wind speeds,” said Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services Department Head. “These wildfires may be more resistant to firefighters’ suppression efforts.”

To prepare for this weekend all of the local Texas A&M Forest Service offices will be staffing all weekend and have an increased number of resources to support them. Here in Mineral Wells we will have a Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike team, 5 fire engines, to support the TAMFS Task Force which will be staffing 4 dozers. Additionally in Waco there will be an additional strike team of dozers positioned along with the McGregor TAMFS Task Force. We have several air resources staged around the state with the closest resources being 3 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) based here in Mineral Wells and a Type 3 Helicopter based in Greenville.

“The alignment of dormant vegetation and warm, dry conditions with increased winds have produced some of the largest and most destructive wildfires in Texas’ history,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “Wildfires that ignite under these conditions may be difficult for firefighters to control and pose a threat to public safety. We encourage our cooperators and all Texans to be prepared and listen to warnings from local officials.”

Anyone living in the areas of concern, The Western Plains, Cross Timbers, and Hill Country, should consider making evacuation preparations to ensure their safety in the event of a wildfire near their area this weekend.

·         Prepare multiple evacuation routes in case one is compromised by heavy smoke.

·         Assemble a go-kit that can be grabbed easily and includes the following items:

Supplies for both people and pets.

Prescription medications or other necessary medical equipment.

  Papers and important documents such as insurance and identification documents.

 Personal needs including food, water, clothing, money and a first aid kit.

Priceless items such as photos, family heirlooms and any other irreplaceable or valuable items.

Listen to local officials and, if necessary, evacuate early to get yourself out of harm’s way.

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