Officials with the Governor's Division of Emergency Management urged Texans to take extra precautions this year to avoid the threat of wildfires. High winds and dry conditions can set the stage for potentially severe fires.
An estimated 90 percent of all Texas wildfires are caused by human activity. The greatest single cause is when burning debris is not properly contained and sparks or burning trash is blown into the air. Texans can help prevent fires if they:
- Avoid burning trash. Even a barrel covered with a screen can allow a spark to escape, igniting nearby vegetation.
- Do not use fireworks during holidays.
- 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.
- Be careful when pulling off a road or driving into a field. Hot catalytic converters can ignite 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.
For more information on fire danger and advisories, visit the Texas Forest Service or the Governor's Division of Emergency Management.