Good news for us. No new fires to report, and only three uncontained fires. Things seem to be calming down at last.
Wildfire update – May 5, 2011 – 9:50 a.m.
· Texas Forest Service has responded to no new large fires in recent days.
· We’re currently working on three major fires that span 498,494 acres.
· 209 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
ROCKHOUSE, Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties. 314,444 acres, 95 percent contained. Forty-one homes and two commercial structures were destroyed in the Fort Davis area in the initial burning period.
DEATON COLE, Val Verde County. 175,000 acres, 80 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 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (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. 9,050 acres, 75 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.
Elevated fire weather conditions are expected across portions of the Northwest and West Branches today. The area of low pressure responsible for the gusty winds on Wednesday has moved east of the region and a weak area of high pressure will move into the northern panhandle this afternoon. Within the elevated area, winds across the panhandle will be northeast at 10-15 mph, gusting to 20 mph, and out of the east-northeast across West Branch, sustained 10-15 with gusts to 20 mph. Minimum relative humidity values in the elevated area will be 20 percent or less, with areas west of a line from the Big Bend region northward through the Davis and Guadalupe Mountains seeing relative humidity values drop below 10 percent
Elsewhere, relative humidity values will generally be between 20-40 percent except along the coast and across Deep South Texas, where RH values will remain above 50 percent. Winds will be out of the southeast at 10-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph, except for the lower Rio Grande Valley which will see 15-20 mph sustained with gusts to 25 mph. Afternoon high temperatures will be in the upper 70s across the northern half of the state and in the 80s south. A small portion of the Rio Grande Valley near Laredo will see temperatures reach the low 90s.