YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Being proactive can dampen wildfire season
By Gary Joiner
Signs are pointing to a severe wildfire season in Texas.
The Texas A&M Forest Service says most of the state is trending ahead of typical early summer drying. Hot and dry weather conditions reduce the moisture content in grass and wood vegetation. This increases the potential for wildfire ignition.
It has already ignited in some places. The Forest Service and local fire departments have responded to nearly 100 wildfires. Crews recently battled fires in Sterling County, Concho County, Potter County, Schleicher County and Reagan County. The Sterling County fire was the largest, burning over 5,400 acres before being totally contained.
About 90 percent of wildfires are caused by humans and their activities. Many of the recent wildfires are attributed to equipment use, welding, debris burning and roadside starts.
Now is the time to prepare your house and property to make them wildfire resilient.
Officials recommend creating an evacuation plan for your family that includes pets and livestock. Look for the buildup of dead and dry vegetative material around your house, the driveway and other important buildings, as this is where embers can gather and start fires.
Texans are encouraged to clean gutters of debris, mow and water lawns, move firewood a minimum of 30 feet from homes, remove anything stored under decks or porches and make sure home addresses are visible from the road.
If a wildfire is spotted, contact local authorities immediately. A quick response can help save lives and property.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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