This week we have seen a wildfire burn more than 400 acres in total and threaten hundreds of Amarillo homes. Then on Sunday, we saw more then 100 acres burn again in Randall County just south of Amarillo between Western and Georgia St.
Sgt. Danny Alexander, Randall County Sheriff’s Office says, “The fire was kind of moving West Northwest into a field with very very good fuel. The grass was really tall there, so it created a lot of smoke.”
Wildfires in December are not too common, but we’ve seen them happen before, including being the precursor to the worst acreage burn the High Plains has seen in spring of 2006.
Ken Schneider, the National Weather Service Fire Weather Program Leader says, “Things really weren’t too active until roughly about 2005 and 2006. I don’t know what the fuel loading was like back in 2005, 2006, so I’d have to go back and look. I do know that it’s abnormally high this year.”
But as for now, these fires can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future.
“To me, it’s kind of apples to oranges at this point. The 2006 fire season, that was our largest acreage burned and we’re not seeing anything like that yet.”
Although February is something to look out for.
John Harris, our chief meteorologist says, “We have so much grass out there, so much fuel that’s ready to burn. On any given day if we have any amount of wind, and wind usually drives the humidity down, then that wildfire threat very quickly ramps up.”