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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2018 Vol. 65 No. 3

Active wildfire season possible

Feb. — Experts from Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) are predicting a busy wildfire season is possible for parts of Texas this winter and spring.

"There is a specific recipe to produce a wildland fire on the grass dominant Plains of Texas this time of year," said Fire Analyst Brad Smith. "You need an abundant crop of cured grass sitting on the landscape and a strong dry cold front to sweep across the state."

The rainfall that Texas received in the past year is actually what helped make fuel for wildfires to burn this winter.

"Above normal rainfall last summer and multiple hard freezes this winter have provided the first two ingredients," said Smith. "February and March historically see the most frontal activity of the year. The strong winds and dry air that accompany these fronts is the ingredient that triggers wildland fire occurrence in the abundant cured grass."

TFS is monitoring the situation closely and will be working with local response departments as we preposition state resources, including continued staffing of Single Engine Air Tanker bases in Amarillo and a large jet air tanker stationed in Abilene.

"The 2018 dormant fire season is shaping up to be a busy one for a very large part of the state," said Smith.

View a wildfire weather webinar.

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