AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As warmer months approach, the chances of grass fires and wildfires increase.
Public Information Officer for the Potter County Fire Rescue, Steven Denny, said we have a wildfire season that comes in the spring headed into the summer, depending on when the moisture comes.
“In the springtime, the spring winds come through, we don’t have as much moisture in spring and that wind dries out that fuel that is on the ground. The first time a spark comes by and ignites those, it just takes off,” said Denny.
Denny said the best thing people can do to protect their homes is create a “Defensible Space,” in which their yard, trees, and bushes are maintained and trimmed to avoid being a fuel source.
“Really it’s like watching magic when you come out to a wildfire, we will see this fire that is just burning intensely for miles and miles, and then it comes to a house with a nicely manicured, low mowed yard and it will go around the house,” said Denny.
Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator with the Texas A&M Forest Service, Chris Graham, said other causes of grassfires and wildfires can be lighting, chains dragging from vehicles, throwing cigarettes out windows, and downed powerlines.
Denny added grass fires also start when people don’t maintain the catalytic converters on their vehicles and pieces fly out of the exhaust pipe.
He said its always important to be aware of your surroundings.
“When we have these big gusty winds, 20, 30, 40 miles per hour, we don’t need to be grilling or welding. You just have to be aware,” said Graham.
Denny said wildfire season isn’t just during the season, but year-round.
“The time we are at right now seems to be when they are the most uncontrollable because of the wind. When you have that sort of movement on a fire and with the limited water resources in the county, it is very difficult to control those fires once they get going,” said Denny.
Denny also stressed the importance of burn bans.
Currently, Potter County is under a burn ban along with thirteen other counties in our viewing area, including Randall County, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
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