Near-critical fire weather conditions are expected throughout the week, Comal County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde warned today.
“A Rangeland Fire Danger Statement has been issued for all of South Central Texas through 9 p.m. this evening,” he said. “Additional Rangeland Fire Danger Statements will be necessary during each afternoon period through the remainder of this week.”
Worsening drought conditions are leading to more-favorable conditions for the spread of wildfire, the U.S. National Weather Service Austin-San Antonio (NWS) and Texas A&M Forest Service said on social media today.
NWS said southeast winds of 10-14 mph with gusts near 20 mph, humidity values of between 15-25% late this afternoon, and critically dry to extremely dry fuels were responsible for today’s alert.
Any fires that develop during near-critical fire weather conditions will likely spread.
No rain is expected this week.
Since Friday, the Forest Service said the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) has responded to 18 new wildfires which have burned 940.3 acres.
To review a Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory issued by the Forest Service today, click here.
Comal County is under a burn ban. According to Drought.gov, 14.31% of the county is in severe drought, 60.65% is in extreme drought and 25.04% of the county is in exceptional drought.
Today’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) for Comal County is 676.76. The index is used to determine forest fire potential. KBDI ranges from 0 to 800 where a drought index of 0 represents no moisture depletion and an index of 800 represents absolutely dry conditions.
Most wildfires are caused by humans, according to Weather.gov. Many everyday things can create sparks. Ignition sources should be kept far away from dry vegetation, wood and other fuel.
A Facebook post by Comal County today asks the public to:
- Properly dispose of cigarettes and matches
- Make sure no vehicle parts drag on the ground, including tow chains
- Avoid parking a recently driven car on dry grass
- Not use a lawn mower on weeds or dry grass
- Avoid all outdoor burning and obey burn bans