Texas Wildfires: Update 5/2/11

Here is the daily update from the Texas Forest Service. No new large fires yesterday!

Morning Wildfire Update – May 2, 2011 (10 a.m.)

Recent Response:

· Texas Forest Service responded to no new large fires on May 1.

· We’re currently working on 6 major fires that span 673,985 acres.

· 211 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
No new large fires from May 1 (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):

None.


Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):

ROCKHOUSE, Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties. 313,323 acres, 95 percent contained. Forty-one homes and two commercial structures were destroyed in the Ft. Davis area in the initial burning period. The fire is being managed by the Southern Area Type I Incident Management Team (Wilder).

DEATON COLE, Val Verde County. 175,000 acres, 30 percent contained. The fire is in rugged terrain 30 miles southwest of Ozona, burning in tall grass and brush. Numerous ranch houses are threatened. Three strike teams of TIFMAS engines are assisting. Commercial airtankers and MAFFs tankers worked the fire most of the day yesterday and made good progress on the fire.

OASIS, Kimble County. 9,600 acres, 60 percent contained. Numerous engines, dozers, and helicopters continue to work the fire that is burning four miles south of Junction. TIFMAS strike teams of engines is on scene to do structure protection.

WORTHINGTON, Crockett County. 435 acres, 95 percent contained. A TFS strike team responded to the fire. No structures were threatened. The acreage change was due to GPS mapping.

PECAN CREEEK COMPLEX, Tom Green County. 840 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning just south of San Angelo. Seventy-five homes were evacuated but none were lost.

PLEASANT FARMS, Ector County (and C-BAR, Crane County). 15,479 acres, 90 percent contained. The C-Bar and Pleasant Farms fires burned together. All information will be reported under Pleasant Farms. Seventy-five homes are threatened; one has been lost on this fire 15 miles southwest of Odessa.

WILDCAT, Coke County. 159,308 acres, 98 percent contained. This fire is burning in tall grass north of San Angelo. More than 400 homes have been saved, one was destroyed. The communities of Grape Creek, Quail Valley, Bronte, Robert Lee, Tennyson and Orient were threatened, but all evacuation orders have been lifted.


Weather Outlook

West Zone: Elevated fire weather conditions are expected to be restricted to Far West Texas down into the Presidio Valley today where relative humidity values will drop to below 10-20% with northeasterly winds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts around 30 mph. A slow moving cold front will stall in the Gulf Coast region by late afternoon with increased moisture, high relative humidity values and good chances of showers and thunderstorms over much of eastern half of the state. Relative humidity values from the High Plains southward through the Cap Rock into the Trans Pecos will be between 20 and 30%. Northeast winds of 15 to 20 mph with higher gusts are expected over the northwest branch with breezier conditions from the Red River Valley through the Heartland down through the Edwards Plateau, where north winds of 20-30 mph with gusts to around 40 mph are possible. High temperatures are expected to be well below normal ranging from the lower 50s in the Panhandle, to near 60 degrees through central Texas, to the 70s along the Gulf Coast, and around 80 in Deep South Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

East Zone: A cold front will remain stretched across the branch today with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms expected; some storms may be strong to severe. Overcast skies with relative humidty values of 60-70% again are expected area wide with N-NE winds 15-20 mph gusting to 30 mph north of the front and SE winds 15-20 mph gusting to 30 mph south of the front near the coast. Well below normal temperatures; in the 60s north of the front and in the 70s to the south.

Prevention messages:

· Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas.

· Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.

· To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at (888) 501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle (including the license number) before calling the hotline.

· Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires. Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.



About M.J.Deare

I am a writer, actively researching topics of interest. I am also a graduate of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, with a degree in English, and have a master's degree from the University of Memphis. Born in New Orleans, I lived there until moving to northwest Arkansas and from there to Memphis, Tennessee. My husband and I currently reside in The Woodlands, Texas.
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