Severe fire threat will remain on the South Plains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Severe fire threat will remain on the South Plains through the winter

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The National Weather Service says the South Plains will remain under a severe threat of grass fires this winter.

Thousands of acres burned in three separate fires in Floyd, Hale and Lamb Counties on Wednesday. Fortunately, no homes were damaged and there are no reports of injuries.

Almost one-thousand acres burned in Floydada on Wednesday. The fire traveled a quarter of a mile in ten minutes. Four fire departments responded to the blaze that took two hours to put out. Floydada Fire Chief Craig Duboise says the blaze started from just one spark.

"There was a wheel barring that went out on a semi truck coming down the highway and it caused sparks and got into the grass and it was gone from there," Dubois said.

Experts say high winds and dry conditions are setting the stage for massive and destructive fires. In the last five years, ten such firestorms have destroyed 1,065 structures and killed 22 people. An estimated 90 percent of all Texas wildfires are caused by human activity. Texans can help prevent wildfires if they:

  • Be careful when pulling off a road or driving into a field. Hot catalytic converters can ignite vegetation.

 

  • If you smoke in your car, extinguish cigarettes in vehicle ashtrays. Never toss a cigarette out of a car window, and don't put cigarettes out on the ground. IH-35 and IH-20 are especially prone to fire danger this year.

 

  • Avoid burning trash. The greatest single cause of wildfire is sparks or burning trash blown into the air because debris is not properly contained. Even a barrel covered with a screen can allow a spark to escape, igniting nearby vegetation.

 

  • Keep a fire extinguisher and water handy when working outdoors with equipment that gets hot, or involves sparks, such as welding equipment. Water down outdoor work areas in advance if possible.

 

  • Don't use fireworks. Do respect burn bans when your county officials declare them.

 

For more information on fire danger and advisories, see: http://www.texasfirestorm.org and the Texas Forest Service Website at: http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu

 

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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