Texas faces threat of new wildfires

Texas authorities are preparing to battle yet another set of wildfires as the state experiences a bout of critical fire weather.

The Texas A&M Forest Service, the agency that handles Texas fire response, says that the potential blazes are centred in the Texas plains and southwest Texas near Amarillo, Lubbock, Childress, Andrews and Alpine/Fort Davis. At least 73 counties currently have burn bans in place.

The development comes almost two weeks after the state contained the Smokehouse Creek fire, the largest blaze in its history and one of the largest in the country. The wildfire left at least three people dead, displaced multiple families, killed thousands of cattle and burned hundreds of structures.

According to the forest service, new fires will depend on the magnitude of the wind causing moderate to high potential for large wildfires that’ll be difficult to control. High wind gusts will make power line ignitions possible, the release added.

Officials anticipate a potential wildfire outbreak for the southern plains and across the Panhandle region. Any wildfires that start in dry grass could spread three to five miles per hour, authorities noted. As a result, crews have been set up in the necessary areas ready to fight any fires that may arise this week.

On Sunday, meteorologists expected a cold front to move south through the western plains going into Monday morning. Cold winds could cause the southern or right flanks of wildfires to become active.

The increased threat of new blazes is set to continue later into the week with dry conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday and another storm system on Thursday, bringing possible increased winds across the Texas Plains and Trans-Pecos regions.

Last week, Republican Governor Greg Abbott issued a state emergency response as more wildfires continue to threaten the state.

“Texans in at-risk areas are urged to remain vigilant, regularly monitor conditions and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones,” the governor said in a news release.

“I thank all of the brave firefighters and emergency personnel who worked around the clock to protect their fellow Texans from the recent historic wildfires and will continue to do so in the coming days”.