Another new fire started yesterday. We need prolonged rain across the state, but that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. The stats under “Fire Numbers” are quite startling. Here’s the latest from the Texas Forest Service:
Wildfire update – June 24, 2011
· Critical fire weather conditions expected today across portions of the West and Northwest branches and elevated fire conditions from the Big Country to the Edwards Plateau.
· Texas Forest Service responded to one new large fire yesterday in Wheeler County.
· Texas Forest Service currently is responding to 15 large fires that have burned 163,829 acres.
· The Hudson Complex (Sterling County, 1,700 acres) and the Faulkner Fire (Crockett County, 2,201 acres) were contained yesterday.
· 228 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
· Detailed fire information can be found at inciweb.org.
· Questions about evacuations, burn bans and fireworks bans should be directed to the county judge, sheriff’s office or emergency management coordinator.
Since fire season started on Nov. 15, 2010, Texas Forest Service and area fire departments have responded to 12,779 fires that have burned 3,251,365 acres. These figures are updated every Monday and Friday.
New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
MILES, Wheeler County. 500 acres, 90 percent contained. Three houses were evacuated. This fire is burning approximately 4 miles east northeast of Wheeler, near the airport.
Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
WHITE HAT, Coke and Nolan Counties. 71,200 acres, 75 percent contained. There are voluntary evacuations around the community of Maryneal. Eight homes, eight outbuildings and three vehicles were destroyed. A power substation received heavy damage. Heavy airtankers, single-engine airtankers and helitankers continue to assist on this fire. This fire is burning 4 miles south of Maryneal.
BEARING, Polk and Trinity Counties. 22,222 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning near Carmona. Two homes and six cabins were destroyed and dozens have been evacuated.
DYER MILL, Grimes County. 5,280 acres, 95 percent contained. Thirty homes are confirmed destroyed, along with three businesses. More than 1,000 homes and businesses were evacuated, the evacuation order has been lifted. This fire is burning approximately 3 miles east of Whitehall.
MIDWAY (COWBOY CHURCH), Walker County. 2,412 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning near Huntsville. One hundred sixty-three homes were evacuated near Midway. The fire was burning on both sides of Interstate 45 with crowning in the timber. Eight Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System engines responded from the Houston area to assist in addition to TFS resources, TIFMAS resources have now been released from this fire.
POWER LINE, Jasper County. 3,500 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning just south of Lake Sam Rayburn Dam. Five hundred homes were threatened.
SMAC, Brooks County. 30,000 acres, 95 percent contained. This fire is burning 13 miles southwest of Falfurrias.
COBBLE RD. #1, Howard County. 1,200 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 2 miles west of Big Spring.
MITCHELL RANCH 2, Crockett County. 5,000 acres, 50 percent contained. This fire is burning 31 miles southwest of Ozona.
TRENT MESA, Taylor County. 600 acres, 50 percent contained. This fire is burning 8 miles southwest of Merkel. Numerous wind turbines are threatened.
McDONALD II, Clay County. 5,915 acres, 50 percent contained. The fire was threatening the town of Henrietta. Evacuations of numerous homes and businesses took place.
ROCK CREEK, Stonewall County. 8,000 acres, 80 percent contained. The fire is burning seven miles northeast of Aspermont in tall grass.
JRM, Throckmorton County. 7,000 acres, 95 percent contained. This fire is a complex of four lightning fires near Throckmorton. Twelve homes are threatened.
NANCE RANCH, Randall County. 607 acres, 90 percent contained. Two single-engine airtankers and a TFS task force worked the fire burning in grass 6 miles east of Canyon. Twelve homes were saved.
FINIS, Young County. 393 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning approximately 8 miles southeast of Graham.
Dry line will remain across West Texas from Amarillo to near the Davis Mountains on Friday as upper-ridge strengthens across Texas. Wind gusts above 20 mph can be expected across the panhandle and behind the dry line with relative humidity values decreasing to around 5 percent. Otherwise, high temperatures are forecast to increase to over 100 degrees across the western half of the state and the upper 90s across the east. Critical fire weather conditions expected across portions of the West and Northwest branches and elevated fire conditions from the Big Country to the Edwards Plateau.