State Warns of Fire Danger

State forestry officials say today's dry and windy conditions are just right for a wild fire in almost every part of the state. Jim Bell has more on what that means for us here in the Houston area.

Fire danger alerts and bans on outdoor burning are in effect for two thirds of Texas' 254 counties. That includes Harris County and several other counties in the KUHF listening area. Texas Forest Service spokesman Marq Webb says the worst conditions are in west Texas, where humidities are in the teens and winds are strong.

"Winds are expected to be 40 to 45 miles an hour over much of west Texas, and even over 65 miles and hour in the Guadalupe Mountains."

Conditions are somewhat better in east and southeast Texas.  Humidities are higher, but stiff winds could cause problems because conditions are so dry. He says conditions are expected to improve tonight however.

"We expecting thunderstorms to move into east Texas, that will bring potential for rain that should help cool things in most of that part of the state."  

Statewide, the Forest Service has responded to nearly 500 wildfires, affecting more than 62 thousand acres, just since the wildfire season started in January.  During that same period, local fire departments have reported an additional 2,800 wildfires affecting nearly 75 thousand acres. 

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

For more information, visit the Texas Interagency Coordination Center website .