While parts of Texas saw rain over the weekend, the state is still experiencing one of the driest summers on record as many counties implement fire bans amid scorching temperatures and drought.
The Texas A&M Forest Service is reminding citizens to not park or drive on tall, dry grass.
“Grass can ignite immediately when it needs surfaces of 500 degrees or more. Catalytic converters located underneath vehicles can reach up to 1,200 degrees or more under normal conditions and 2,000 degrees if overworked or clogged,” said the organization online.
The current the current fire situation (Wildland Fire Preparedness Level) is at a Level 4.
This level involves three or more geographic areas experiencing large, complex wildfires requiring IMTs. Geographic areas are competing for wildland fire suppression resources and about 60 percent of the country’s IMTs and wildland firefighting personnel are committed to wildland fire incidents.
There are currently 208 counties in Texas with burn bans in place and four active wildfires.
Several local firefighters with the Paris Fire Department returned on Sunday after a 21-day deployment with the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System. On Sunday, Powderly Fire Chief Tyler Bussell, Paris Captain Matt Barbee, Paris Captain Drew Boren, and Paris Firefighter Zach Beal, deployed to Louisiana to assist with ongoing wildfires in Vernon Parish.
Texas A&M Forest Service said, “9 out of 10 wildfires are human-caused and preventable. Help avoid roadside starts and if a wildfire is spotted, immediately call 911.”