Ferocious spreading wildfires
Texas faces its worst dry spell since 1895!
· In the past seven days, Texas Forest Service has responded to 149 fires for 17,334 acres.
· Aviation resources also were critical in fighting the recent outbreak of fires. Since Labor Day weekend, aircraft have flown more than 1,800 hours and dropped more than 5.5 million gallons of water and retardant. Six heavy airtankers, three water scoopers, 15 single-engine airtankers, four C-130 MAFFS airtankers, 13 helicopters and 17 air attack aircraft and lead planes are being utilized. Eleven Texas Army National Guard Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters from San Antonio, Austin and Grand Prairie have been crucial in the fight as well.
· The latest drought monitor shows 95 percent of the state in extreme drought, with 81 percent in exceptional drought (the highest category). Seasonal outlooks continue to indicate drying throughout the fall, so the drought is expected to worsen.
· 250 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
· People and their activities cause more than 90% of all wildfires in the state. Careless debris burning (of household trash, brush and leaf piles, garden spots, etc.) results in the largest number of human-caused wildfires. Other significant wildfire causes include sparks from welding and grinding equipment, carelessly discarded smoking materials, hot vehicle pollution control equipment and arson.
© rgb for “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”, 2011