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Dry summer means higher fire risk for this Labor Day
COLLEGE STATION -- With Labor Day drawing near, many Texans are planning to spend some time outside, soaking up the last of the summer sun. But Texas A&M Forest Service is urging residents to celebrate carefully as the summer wildfire activity is typically at its highest over the holiday weekend.
The primary areas of concern include the Hill Country, as well as Central and East Texas, where timber and brush are rapidly drying out. But just because you live outside the danger zones doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful.
Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services Department Head Tom Spencer warned the public to use caution when doing anything outside that could cause a spark.
It was during Labor Day weekend in 2011 that the most destructive wildfire in state history was recorded. The Bastrop County Complex Fire -- just one of 516 wildfires that state and local firefighters responded to that weekend -- burned for 37 days, scorching more than 32,000 acres and destroying 1,660 homes.
Keep the following tips in mind to ensure you and your family have a safe Labor Day weekend:
•Check with your county judge for current burn bans.
•Be aware when grilling on wooden decks or in dry grass.
•Keep water handy in case of fire.
•When transporting portable pits, be sure the fire is extinguished.
•Completely extinguish all smoking materials.
•Remember your vehicle’s exhaust system can ignite a fire when driving through or stopped in dry vegetation.
•Report all fires immediately to 911.
Burn bans are currently in effect for these area counties: Atascosa, Bexar, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, and Wilson.
No outdoor burning is permitted. Household waste can be burned in a screened burn barrel. For more information, contact your county’s fire marshal.
For more information, visit: Texasfirewise.com.
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