Inciweb report: Texas is currently battling its worst fire season in state history. Texas Forest Service and local firefighters have responded to 16,169 fires that have burned a record-setting 3,449,397 acres since fire season began on Nov. 15, 2010. Six of the state’s 10 largest wildfires occurred in April 2011.
Texas Initial Attack crews and equipment are pre-positioned throughout the state to assist local fire departments with wildfire suppression actions when requested. The State Incident Command Post is located in Merkel, 17 miles west of Abilene.
Hot and dry conditions are predicted to persist until early fall, unless relief is provided by tropical storms or hurricanes. Currently, all but six of the state’s 254 counties have burn bans. More than 2,300 structures, including 598 homes, have been lost.
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Potentially dangerous heat is forecast for north Texas by Tuesday. A rarely used “Excessive Heat Watch” has been issued for the region from Tuesday through Thursday. All or parts of the watch area will likely be upgraded to an “Excessive Heat Warning” for Tuesday at least through Thursday.
Areas of north Texas where excessive heat warnings are not issued will likely be under “Heat Advisories.” Central Texas is also expected to be under at least a heat advisory.
The coming week will likely be the hottest week since late August 2000. Temperatures of 105 to 110 degrees are likely. Consecutive days of such extreme temperatures have not occurred for more than a decade in most areas. This dangerous heat wave could persist into next weekend.
As of 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Texas Forest Service had responded to eight new starts in East Texas. There were no new fires in West Texas.