North Texas fire season rages on

North Texas fire season rages on

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Thursday's cloud coverage and air moisture helped our firefighters as they continue to battle fires across Texas but experts say only heavy rain will help stop the fire season.

"We've got people from 39 states in the State of Texas helping us right now," Regan Reser Texas A&M Forest Service Northwest Fire Coordinator said. "Everybody in the U.S. is getting pretty stretched thin and a little tired. It's been a long season for them."

Texas Forest Service reports this year's fire season started earlier than expected. The report shows there were more fires last year (2017 6,875, 2018 6,596)  and more acres burned (2017 691,108, 2018 461,385) around this time last year.

Reser said fire crews were able to prevent the fires from becoming large fires by being more prepared this year. They had more equipment and more people in place.

"The local fire departments can get on them a little quicker and can try to get stopped a little faster before they become a large fire," Reser said.

Reser said to keep the fires out has become a problem with the dry conditions which create fire fuel like dried out Mesquite trees, Johnson grass and Juniper trees.

"The fuels are just holding the heat and it looks like it's out and the next day when the weather and the temperature starts warming back up, the heat starts coming back up and we'll start having rekindles," Reser said.

He said that makes it difficult to determine when this fire season will finally end.

"We can see the season continuing into the fall and tying right into our winter fire season," Reser said.

Other states are seeing a similar crisis. Wichita Falls Fire Fighters are in California battling some of largest fires in the history of that state. Reser said he does not expect that to happen in Texas soon but he does see some similarities.

"All that urban interface, the people moving into the country, things like that it becomes a problem. It becomes more difficult to fight the fire," Reser said.

Reser said at least six inches of rain is needed to get out of this fire season.

TFS reports 90 percent of fires are man-made. You can go to its website to find out what you can do to prevent another wildfire.

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