AUSTIN, Texas - High fire danger continues in Texas. State, federal and local fire resources have been extremely busy responding to 193 fires that burned 173,559 acres.
The Texas A&M Forest Service increased the state preparedness level to Level 4 on Thursday.
A RED FLAG WARNING has been issued for much of Central Texas until 7 pm Friday evening.
The warning has been issued by the National Weather Service due to dry to critically dry fuels in combination with low humidity and gusty south-southeastern winds.
Please no outdoor burning, campfires, chain dragging, parking on dry grass, and tossing cigarettes out car windows. If you see a plume of smoke report it immediately.
With the strong winds, dry air, and dry vegetation, the fires will spread quickly.
What is a Red Flag Warning?
A red flag warning is issued when fire conditions reach a certain criteria where fire rapid or explosive spread is possible. These conditions focus on relative humidity and wind speed though also take into account other criteria such as recent rainfall and fuel moisture content or how dry the grass and brush is.
Typically, the National Weather Service looks for weather conditions with relative humidity values below 25% and either sustained winds in excess of 15mph with the air temperature above 75°. The combination of these three can create explosive fire growth conditions that allow any fire that gets out of control or wildfire that does start to become potentially very dangerous very quickly.
What can you do to limit the risk of wildfires?
There are ways to limit the risks of wildfire even in critical and extreme fire weather conditions.
First do not burn anything during the Red Flag Warning period and be extremely careful near the Red Flag Warning start and stop times as near-critical fire conditions can linger several hours after the warning has expired.
No fire can spread if no fire is started.
Dispose of cigarettes properly, never flicking them out the window. Do not do yard work involving power tools or weld outdoors during the warning. And check for chains or pieces of metal dangling from vehicles and trailers.
Sparks can jump to grass and start wildfires.
The Fox 7 Weather App can alert you to when the Red Flag Warning is in effect and when it has expired.
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