Texas Forest Service: Wildfire Season Not Yet Over

It's been a year now, but the Texas Forest Service isn't ready to officially declare an end to the wildfire season.

More fires are expected this winter because of ongoing drought conditions in the state. Occasional rain doesn't change things. April Saginor is with the Texas Forest Service.

"Our fire season here in Texas is not defined, really. We just sort of label it when we have the first big outbreak, and ours for this current fire season was November 15th for 2010, so we've been at it for a year and we're still responding daily. We're in a pretty signficant lull, but we're not quite ready to say it's over yet. We haven't had a drenching rain event statewide."

Firefighters are still having to respond to wildfires.

"For example, yesterday we had two fires that I think totalled 12 acres. So in the wintertime we sometimes get wind-driven fires. Under those weather conditions we're kind of planning on it kicking up a bit in the next two months."

Tinderbox conditions last spring were set up by last year's weather.

"We had a rainy year last year, so all the grass was green and tall and just ripe for burning, and now we've burned four million acres already. And yeah, we haven't had the growth — so that may be a good thing. We're kind of bracing to see what happens this winter."

The Texas Forest Service was honored this week with a Government Excellence Award for its response to the Bastrop fires.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...