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Drought jumpstarts fire season, weekend conditions concerning

Current conditions have made recent wildfire starts require more time and resources to fully contain.

Farm Press Staff

June 24, 2022

2 Min Read
The dryness across portions of Texas is what would be expected in mid to late July, according to Texas A&M Forest Service officials. Residents are warned to be cautious and help prevent wildfire ignitions. Texas A&M Forest Service

Widespread triple-digit temperatures and dry air throughout the weekend have Texas A&M Forest Service experts warning residents of the potential for increased wildfire activity.

A drought that began last fall and intensified in the spring is carrying over into summer, jumpstarting the Texas fire season. For the third week in a row, above-normal temperatures and minimal rainfall are forecast.

Elevated fire weather, including triple-digit temperatures, low relative humidity and wind speeds near 15 mph, will support an increased potential for significant wildfires.

“The dryness we are currently seeing across portions of the state is, generally, what we would be experiencing in mid to late July,” said Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services department head. “The drought that has been carried over from the spring into the summer has initiated an early start to the summer fire season. Early summer drying in June also introduces the possibility of experiencing a severe late-summer fire season."

Wildfire activity up already

Hot, dry weather statewide has created conditions for more fire ignitions than in previous years, said Fire Chief Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service. He urges Texans to do their part to prevent sparking fires.   


This year, wildfire activity has trended above normal for acres burned and number of fire responses, according to an agency press release. State and local fire resources have responded to an average of 4,047 wildfires for 188,259 acres annually over the past five years. In 2022, firefighters have already responded to 5,047 wildfires that have burned 527,241 acres across the state.

Current conditions have made recent wildfire starts require more time and resources to fully contain.

“State and local first responders have been incredibly busy this year without much reprieve, and forecast conditions indicate that we may be facing a very busy summer season as well,” Moorehead said. “We urge Texans to be cautious and prevent wildfire ignitions this summer.”

Resources available

Texas A&M Forest Service is monitoring the current situation closely and has positioned personnel and equipment across the state for a quick and effective response to any requests for assistance.   

Fully staffed task forces and additional suppression equipment are staged across the state in anticipation of increased fire activity. Additionally, 187 personnel from other states are currently in Texas to support wildfire response efforts.

Nineteen aviation resources are staged in Texas as well, including one large air tanker and nine single-engine air tankers.

Texas A&M Forest Service asks residents to stay wildfire aware. If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.

For current conditions and wildfire outlook, visit the Texas Fire Potential Outlook

Source: is AgriLife TODAY, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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