TEMPLE, Texas — If you’ve stepped outside lately, you have noticed that it is hot out there and that is raising the potential for devastating wildfires.
Central Texas has already seen several wildfires this year, including one that is still burning on Fort Hood.
A fire that started Jun. 13 has burned more than 250 acres of wild land on Fort Hood, and as of the last update, it is 70 percent contained.
”There is not much active fire that they are seeing this morning," said Kiley Moran, Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator for Texas A&M Forest Service. "They do have dozers on the fire, putting in contingency lines and also hand crews working around the fires edge in increase containment.”
A fire that was started on a small arms range on post back in March burned more than 33,000 acres, making it the largest fire in Fort Hood’s history.
Luckly, current conditions have made this fire easier to contain.
”There still some dead stuff carrying the fire through the greener grass, but we don’t have that super low humidity and high winds that we were seeing,” said Moran.
Even though this fire is being contained, fire departments in Bell County are concerned about the next one, especially with the extreme heat that we’ve been experiencing.
”As the seasons kind of warm up and as the vegetation dries out, those grass fires are always pretty prominent whenever they happen," said Santos Soto, public information officer for Temple Fire and Rescue. "Right now, with the wind that we got, it just makes them spread that much quicker.”
With conditions getting hotter and dryer, even simply working with tools outside can cause a small spark to become a big problem.
”Welders, people using grinders or anything like that that would cause a spark, just be mindful of their work area and make sure that they carry a fire extinguisher when they’re out there,” said Soto.
Fire departments are definitely on high alert as 4th of July gets closer and people begin lighting fireworks.
”Even though that’s banned in the city, people still do that and when those sparks and stuff come down form those fireworks, they can light off that dried vegetation very easily,” said Soto.
With weather conditions the way they are right now, fire departments are urging anyone working outside, grilling, or lighting fireworks on 4th of July, to take precautions and not start any wildfires.