Texas wildfire season to heat up

By Megan Wehring 

While Central Texas has seen a spotty wildfire season, officials say the state is not in the clear yet. 

“When we start getting our 100-degree weather that we have been missing. It’s going to dry out really quick. With all of the growth, because of all of the rain, we could have a pretty bad season around August or September.”

– Kyle Taylor, Kyle Fire Chief

The recent rainfall has caused thriving vegetation and green backyards yet scorching hot temperatures anticipated for the next few weeks will fuel future fires.

“This year, we are well below normal as far as fire activity,” said Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service predictive services department head. “If you look at the last five to six weeks, we have been running below normal temperatures and above normal rainfall.” 

It has been an unusually slow season, Smith explained. He typically sees 10 to 15 fires a week but for the past several weeks, they have been rare. 

“In four weeks without rain and temperatures up in the 90s to 100s, those grasses will wilt,” Smith said. “They will be easier to burn. Once the grass becomes receptive to burning, we start to see an increase in wildfire activity.” 

The Kyle Fire Department encourages residents to take several precautions for fire preparedness: main landscaping by keeping everything trimmed and well-watered; and keep flammable items away from the house. 

For more information on how to prepare for wildfires, please visit https://www.ready.gov/wildfires and https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Firewise-USA.

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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