Preparing for fire weather

“We react from day to day on what the weather is doing."
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 6:44 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita County and surrounding areas are entering a fire watch because weather conditions are prime for grass fires.

A single spark can start a fire, whether that spark is from a chain dragging under a trailer or the discarded end of a cigarette. Along with dry and windy conditions, the recent drought has caused a lot of dead vegetation, the perfect fuel for wildfires.

“We’ve been under a drought for a while now, the vegetation isn’t doing too good and we’re seeing a lot of dead vegetation,” First Alert Meteorologist Garret James said. “Including grasses, brush, that just would be very easy for a fire to use as fuel to grow and continue to grow until it is a very big fire at that point.”

For Wichita Falls Deputy Fire Chief Donald Hughes, it’s just like any other day. The fire department is always ready to help in the city and surrounding areas.

“We react from day to day on what the weather is doing, so today I think we’re in a fire watch, which is usually just a little bit elevated. I’ve got some guys that will be ready if we need to man some extra equipment,” Hughes said.

One way to keep yourself safe and prevent a fire is by keeping a jug or container of water in your vehicle, so if a fire starts, you can put it out before it gets out of control.

“If you’re working outside or doing anything with a flame, just make sure you have water on standby in case something happens and you do accidentally cause a fire, that way it doesn’t get out of control really quickly because with these strong winds and a lot of fuel out there for these fires, they can get out of hand really quickly,” James said.