“Forest fire” possible Thursday
AUSTIN (KXAN) – A combination of extremely low humidity, gusty winds and dry vegetation could lead to a “wildfire outbreak” on Thursday, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
While eastward areas of Austin expect high humidity, mostly cloudy skies and even a few light rain showers on St. Patrick’s Day, a front called the “Dry Line” will cross the Hill. Country, bringing very high fire danger west of the highway. 281.
The dry line brings warm westerly winds and sunshine, and can warm temperatures in places like Llano and Mason counties to nearly 90 degrees.
Drier air behind this boundary, in concert with very warm temperatures, is expected to bring incredibly low relative humidity levels to parts of the Hill Country Thursday afternoon and evening.
Due to this weather pattern along with much below average rainfall in the Hill Country this winter and early spring, the Texas A&M Forest Service expects potential for significant fire activity Thursday along and at west of the I-35 corridor.
Texas A&M Forest Service fire experts go so far as to say fire-related evacuations were “common” in the weather forecast Thursday.
The significant fire risk brings what they call the potential for a “southern plains wildfire outbreak.” This rare, high-impact wildfire phenomenon is similar to California’s Santa Ana winds, but occurs across the southern plains, affecting Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
“The Texas A&M Forest Service has been monitoring the fire environment and has increased wildfire activity this week,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Wes Moorehead. “The potential for large and large wildfires has developed for tomorrow, Thursday March 17. Wildfires that ignite under these predicted conditions are highly resistant to fire suppression efforts and pose a threat to public safety. We encourage residents to be careful tomorrow, to be prepared and to listen to warnings from local authorities. »
Texans are encouraged to make evacuation preparations ahead of wildfire activity scheduled for this weekend.
Do your part to prevent a dangerous wildfire from forming on Thursday by do not carry out all burning outdoors, making sure chains don’t trail behind trailers or trucks that could spark nearby grass, and disposing of cigarettes properly – not throwing them out the window.
Texas A&M Forest Service also recommends that you consider the following:
- Prepare multiple escape routes in case one is compromised by heavy smoke.
- Assemble a go-kit that can be grabbed easily and includes the following:
- Supplies for people and pets. Assemble a go-kit that can be grabbed easily and includes the following:
- Prescription drugs or other necessary medical equipment.
- Important papers and documents such as insurance and identity 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 authorities and, if necessary, evacuate early to get out of harm’s way.
If you see a wildfire on Thursday, call 911.