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High winds bring rainstorms, hail, and a high wildfire risk in Texas

Blog Post created by faithberry Employee on Jan 23, 2018

This map was shared with permission from Phillip Truitt, Communications Specialist with the Texas A&M Forest Service Directors Office

Northern parts of Texas, experienced heavy rain and hail on Sunday, but are also listed on the Texas A&M Forest Service, Observed Fire Danger Map as having a high wildfire risk. The Texas wildfire danger mapping project looks at real time data including, fuels, weather, topography and risk combined to determine the daily fire potential rating in areas of Texas to create maps that show forecasted wildfire risk.

Wind gusts in Northern Texas are predicted to be between 20-30 mph. Because the vegetation in Texas is still dormant for the winter, it is very dry.  The fire danger ratings for Monday in Northern Texas are listed as high and very high. It is suggested that residents living in this area avoid outdoor burning.

Some steps you can take in around your home before a wildfire threatens your area include;

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house. Learn more about the basics of the home ignition zone on the Firewise website.
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
  • Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  • Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
  • Learn more about how to protect your home and property at www.firewise.org.Wildfires can occur anywhere when the conditions are right. You can take some simple steps today to keep your home and those you care about, safer from wildfire. Learn more about how you can reduce your risk of loss from NFPA.

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