Texas on high alert as temperatures soar


Share this content


Wildfires have been seen across in the weeks following Texas Govenor Abbott declaring a drought disaster for 164 counties across the state.

As of 20 July, 254 of Texas counties were put under a burn ban as drought and rising temperatures, fuels, or grasses, have become drought stressed and vulnerable to sparking wildfires.

About 99% of Texas had some level of drought conditions as of 20 July. The lower the fuel moisture, the more likely it is for a wildfire to start and spread, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Heather Gonzales, a program specialist who focuses on wildfire prevention for the Texas A&M Forest Service, warned Texans against  doing any activities that may cause sparks such as welding, cutting and grinding materials outdoors.

This year has been a “much drier year than average,” Gonzales said, and the state has not had this many active burn bans since 2011.

By Saturday, fire danger is expected to increase across the state, according to the TFS’ forecasting tool.

Active fires

As of 7 am 21 July 21, there were 10 active wildfires over an estimated 16,426 acres of land.

Two two-day-old North Texas wildfires continued to resist containment Wednesday after destroying 21 homes, officials said.

The Chalk Mountain Fire near Glen Rose, Texas, destroyed 16 homes and damaged five others as it remained on the move Wednesday after scorching almost 10 square miles (26 square kilometers) of mostly short grass, brush and juniper as of midday Wednesday, said Alexandra Schwier, a Texas A&M Forest Service spokeswoman.

A fire at Possum Kingdom Lake destroyed five homes as it spread along its western shore, charring 500 (200 hectares) acres about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Fort Worth. That fire was 15% contained Wednesday, the Forest Service said.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox