Labor Day weekend brings more wildfire woes to the state
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — High winds and low humidity across much of Texas have worsened the fire situation in the state, with residents and officials reporting numerous new fires during the holiday weekend, including a firestorm in Bastrop County that’s reportedly 10 miles wide and moving at 40 to 50 mph.
The Bastrop grass fire is reportedly threatening up to 1,000 homes in the area and had burned across 14,000 acres by late Saturday.
Texas firefighters in the state have responded to 141 fires in the past seven days. The Texas Forest Service reported 21 new fires burning across more than 1,000 acres on September 3, with another five new fires reported by 12 p.m. Sept. 4.
High winds could hamper firefighting activities in some areas, limiting the use of aircraft. The winds could also stir up older fires and re-ignite smoldering embers. Updated information online at Inciweb. Follow #txfire on Twitter for real-time updates from multiple sources. More info at the Texas Interagency Coordination Center and at Inciweb.
Tropical Storm Lee isn’t helping the situation. Instead of bringing moisture to Texas, the storm has only generated high wrap-around winds, leading to red flag fire warnings across the eastern two-thirds of the state.
Hot and dry conditions are predicted to persist at least until early fall, unless relief is provided by tropical storms or hurricanes. On September 1, the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center released its updated U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook through November. The drought is expected to continue or persist across the entire state. Currently, 81 percent of the state is in exceptional drought, the highest drought category.
Recent new fires reported by the Texas Forest Service:
NAYLOR, Grayson County. 500 acres, 75 percent contained. Nine structures were saved.
Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
RANCH, Palo Pinto County. 6,600 acres, 60 percent contained. The fire is burning on the south side of Possum Kingdom Lake near the town of Brad. A small amount of active fire remains in an island in the interior of the fire, but all other fire activity is minimal. Nine strike teams of Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System engines are assisting. Evacuation orders have been lifted. Thirty-nine homes and nine RVs have been reported destroyed; 199 saved.
PICKET RUN, Montague County. 1,100 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning in tall grass 7 miles south of Bowie.
CEDAR TRUCK COMPLEX, Kimble County. 400 acres, 95 percent contained. Thirteen homes were saved on this fire burning just west of Fort McKavett. This was a combination of 34 different starts along a 24-mile stretch of highway.
HORNETS TANK, Briscoe County. 5,500 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning in juniper and grass in rough terrain near Palo Duro Canyon.
3547 ROAD, Wise County. 400 acres, 90 percent contained. Approximately 60 homes were evacuated near this fast-moving fire. Five homes were lost.
JOHNSON (JACKSON) RANCH, Edwards County. 600 acres, 95 percent contained. Three homes were lost on this fire burning 27 miles northwest of Hunt.
RICK RANCH, Sutton County. 370 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning 24 miles west of Junction.
JACK MOUNTAIN, Coryell County. 3,000 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning 5 miles south of Gatesville on the Fort Hood military reservation.
BUNDY ROSS RANCH, Edwards County. 600 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning in juniper, grass and brush 7 miles southeast of Telegraph.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, forest fires Tagged: | fires in texas, Palo Pinto County Texas, Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, Texas Forest Service, Texas wildfires 2011, Texas wildfires Labor Day weekend, texas wildfires map, Wildfires